Did you know that it is illegal to drive ATVs on the road?

A crash in Iberia Parish over the weekend has Sheriff Tony Romero warning ATV owners that is the case and that riders can get seriously hurt by breaking this law. The only exception is when an ATV is being used in a manner directly related to farming or other duties outlined in Louisiana Revised Statute 32:299.

A.(1) Off-road vehicles, including but not limited to three-wheelers, four-wheelers, or other all-terrain vehicles which are not specifically designated for road use may travel on the shoulders of all public roads and highways except interstate highways in the manner provided for in this Section solely for the purposes of farm-related activities within a five-mile radius of a farmer's farm, provided that the operator possesses a valid Class "E" driver's license. The owner or operator of the off-road vehicle shall carry a copy of the motor vehicle registration, upon his person or on the off-road vehicle, to prove he owns at least one motor vehicle which is registered as a vehicle engaged in the business of actual farming under the provisions of R.S. 47:462. As an alternative to the ownership of the motor vehicle, the operator of the off-road vehicle may carry a sworn affidavit attesting that he is engaged in the business of actual farming under the provisions of R.S. 47:462. Any agricultural consultant as defined in R.S. 3:3202 may also operate off-road vehicles for the purposes of farm-related activities within a five-mile radius of a farmer's farm.

(2) Off-road vehicles may travel on the shoulders of all public roads or highways, except interstate highways, during each day starting thirty minutes after sunrise and ending thirty minutes before sunset. Incidental crossing of public roads or highways shall be authorized.

(3) Off-road vehicles may be operated by university or college employees, law enforcement officers, and certified emergency technician-paramedics in the course and scope of their employment while on streets within the boundaries of state-owned colleges and universities. Incidental crossings of public roads or highways are authorized.

 

Weeks Island Road, google street view
Weeks Island Road, google street view
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The crash happened around 1:00 a.m. early Sunday morning near a sugarcane field in the area of Weeks Island Road in Iberia Parish. A 35-year-old man is in the hospital in critical condition after he lost control of his Arctic CatATV and ejected into the sugarcane field after crashing it across a coulee. He was airlifted to a medical center in Lafayette.

Sugarcane Field, unsplash via Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty)
Sugarcane Field, unsplash via Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty)
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Sheriff Tommy Romero also reminds riders that properly using safety equipment, such as a helmet, can decrease the risk of serious injury or death.

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