Schmick legislation allowing ATVs to cross certain highways signed into law

Legislation designed to give more flexibility to land owners and local jurisdictions when it comes to the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on roads and highways was signed into law this week.

House Bill 1838, sponsored by Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, allows eligible ATVs to cross a public road with a speed limit up to 60 mph.  Under current law, an ATV may only cross roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.

“Many of our rural communities rely on ATVs for farming, agriculture and tourism activities,” said Schmick.  “It’s important for there to be some flexibility for local jurisdictions, land owners and responsible citizens who want and need to use ATVs on public roads.  This bill just allows them to cross certain roads that they weren’t able to before, as long as the road they’re on to begin with has already been approved for ATV use.”

In counties with a population greater than 15,000, a person may only operate an ATV on county roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less if the county has approved such operation by ordinance.  For counties with a population less than 15,000, ATVs can be operated on those same roads unless specifically prohibited by ordinance.

In cities and towns, ATV operation on these same roads depends on specific approval by local ordinance.

Schmick’s bill passed the House unanimously earlier in March and passed the Senate 48-1 at the beginning of April.  Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill on Monday, April 17.

The 105-day 2017 regular legislative session is scheduled to end Sunday, April 23.

PHOTO CAPTION: Governor Jay Inslee and Rep. Joe Schmick at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia for the signing of HB 1838




Washington State House Republican Communications