Is it Legal to Drive Off-Road Vehicles on Indiana Roads?
With the arrival of Spring, and Summer not too far away, temperatures are starting to rise to the point where more of us will be heading outside to enjoy the great outdoors. One popular way of doing that is to hop on an off-road vehicle (ORV) or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and zip down backroads, cut through open fields, or navigate your way through the numerous wooded areas and forests Indiana has to offer. But, what about main roads, like the type you and I live on? Is it legal to ride your four-wheeler, Gator, or other off-road vehicles on those?
Is it Legal to Drive Off-Road Vehicles on Indiana Roads?
In recognition of ORV Safety Week, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) posted a reminder on their Facebook page that off-road vehicles are not designed for standard roadways, which often leads to accidents that could be avoided. With that said, there is no state law prohibiting you from riding them on paved roads. The rules governing that are done on a county-by-county basis.
The state map shared on the DNR website shows all 10 counties in our corner of southwestern Indiana do allow ORVs on roads however, that doesn't mean you can just go wherever you please all carefree. Each county does have restrictions on certain roads. Let's take a county-by-county look at what those are.
Per codepublishing.com, "Off-road vehicles may be operated on county roadways outside incorporated areas, excluding the following prohibited roadways:
- Allen Lane from St. Joseph Avenue to CSX Railroad/City Limits
- Baumgart Road from State Route 57 to Browning Road
- Boonville-New Harmony Road from U.S. 41 to Petersburg Rd.
- Broadway Ave. from Schutte Road to Speaker Road
- Browning Road from Petersburg Road to Old State Road
- Burkhardt Road from Hirsch Road to Olmstead Road
- Covert Ave. from Evansville City Limits to Interstate 69 Southbound Ramp
- Darmstadt Rd. from Kratzville Road to Darmstadt Town Limits
- Dixie Flyer Highway (Evansville's west side in the Howell Neighborhood) from Tekoppel Ave. to Evansville City Limits
- Evergreen Rd. from Darmstadt Road to Old State Road
- Fuquay Rd. from Pollack Avenue to Covert Avenue
- Green River Rd. from Hirsch Road to Petersburg Road
- Heckel Rd. from Oak Hill Road to Green River Road
- Hillsdale Rd. from US 41 to Browning Road
- Hogue Rd. from Bohne Camp Road to Evansville City Limits
- Kansas Rd. from Petersburg Road to Green River Road
- Kratzville Rd. from Wimberg Road to Darmstadt Road
- Lynch Rd. from Oak Hill Road to Pigeon Creek
- Mill Rd. from Mesker Park Dr. to Evansville City Limits at CSX RR
- Millersburg Rd. from Oak Hill Road to Green River Road
- Mt. Pleasant Rd. from Darmstadt Road to Baumgart Road
- Oak Hill Rd. from Lynch Road to William Brooks Drive
- Oak Hill Rd. from Evansville City Limits to Kansas Road
- Old State Rd. from Campground Road to Darmstadt Town Limits
- Old State Rd. from Darmstadt Town Limits to Baseline Road
- Petersburgh Rd. from State Route 57 to Boonville-New Harmony Rd.
- Pollack Ave. from Evansville City Limits to Lynn Road
- Red Bank Rd. from Evansville City Limits to Upper Mt. Vernon Rd.
- Resurrection Dr. from New Harmony Road to State Route 66
- Rosenberger Ave. from Evansville City Limits to Hogue Road
- St. George Rd. from Evansville City Limits at Indiana Southern RR to Oak Hill Road
- St. Joseph Ave. from Evansville City Limits to Darmstadt Town Limits
- University Parkway from State Route 62 (Lloyd Expressway) to State Route 66 (Diamond Ave.)
- Upper Mount Vernon Rd. from Posey County Line to Bohne Camp Road
- Waterworks Rd. from US 41 to Evansville City Limits
- Wimberg Rd. from St. Joseph Avenue to Kratzville Road
Warrick County Traffic Code 73.02 states, "Off-road vehicles may not be operated on
restricted roads, except that farmers may operate offroad vehicles, for farm production purposes, on ATV roads or restricted roads." The law defines, "restricted roads" as the following:
Those roads and highways in the following described area of the county: Starting the
point of beginning, being a point at the southwestern corner of Warrick County, which is a point formed by the intersection of the Ohio River and the western boundary of the county; then running in a northerly direction along the western border of Warrick County to State Road 62; then running east along State Road 62 to State Road 61; then running south along State Road 61 to State Road 66, and then directly south to the Ohio River; then running in a westerly direction along the Ohio River to the Point of Beginning.
(2) Yankeetown Road from the Boonville
city limits to State Road 66.
(3) Any road or highway posted by the
Board of Commissioners or its designee for non-use
by off-road vehicles.
I couldn't find any information specific to Posey County as a whole however, the town of Poseyville does have the following regulations state in Ordinance Number 2019-09-11-01,
<p>Off-Road Street shall mean all Town streets within the Town of Poseyville, except for the following:</p><p>A. State Highways 68 and 165, except for purposes of crossing State Highways 68 and 165 in compliance with [Indiana Code] I.C. 14-16-1-20(a)(2), except for the intersections of Cale and Locust Streets that an operator is prohibited from crossing;</p><p>B. Any streets posted by order of the Town Council or its designee for non-use for URV;</p><p>C. Any of the following:</p><ul><li>On sidewalks;</li><li>ON any unpaved surfaces of public property on which motor vehicles are not allowed; and</li><li>On any private property without permission of the owner</li></ul>[/pullquotes]
Like Posey County, I couldn't find any information specific to Gibson County as a whole however, one of the towns in the county, Owensville, does have the following regulations regarding driving an ORV on town roads:
Off-road streets shall mean all town streets inside the town limits, except for the following:
(A) Any street posted by order of the Town Council or its designee for non-use for off-road vehicles.
(B) Any of the following:
(1) State highways except for purposes of crossing state highways at intersections with other Town streets in the most direct manner possible; (2) Sidewalks; (3) Any unpaved surfaces of public property; and (4) any private property without permission of the owner.
Title VII, Code 70.02 states, "Off-road vehicles, as defined in I.C. 14-16-1 may use county roads in the county, outside the corporate limits of any city or town," and that "The County Highway Supervisor shall be permitted to post certain roads for non-use of the “off-road vehicles” by posting signs on the roads."
Daviess, Dubois, Pike, Martin, and Spencer Counties
I was unable to find any publication of county codes for these counties. If you live there or are looking to ride an off-road vehicle around them, I suggest contacting law enforcement in those counties to find out what is and is not allowed.
[Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources]