Off-Highway Vehicles in Idaho – What You Need to Know
Off-roading is among the fastest-growing recreational activities in America — a $60-billion per year industry, by some estimates. Off-roading is fun and OHV riders that follow the rules are welcome in Idaho, but remember, there’s always somebody who thinks they don’t have to follow any rules. When you meet those people, the Morgan Law Firm has the legal counsel you need on auto injuries and other problems.
Legal Definition of an Off-Highway Vehicle
The “off-highway vehicle”, under Idaho law, comes in four species: All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) — small, one or two riders, three or four tires, handlebars. Utility Type Vehicles (UTVs) — larger, two to four riders, four tires, steering wheel. Off-Highway Motorcycles (OHMs) — any bike capable of going on the trails. Special Off-Highway Vehicles (SOHV) —any other vehicle designed primarily for off-highway operation.
OHVs are legal on city streets plus state parks and trails (federal lands have their own rules) if they meet specific requirements under Idaho law. Those include registration, insurance, safety equipment, lights, helmets for children.
Dangers of OHVs
OHVs are like motorcycles — smaller, less protective metal and they really aren’t designed to crash into anything larger than a bush. They can be operated by children under 16, when accompanied by licensed adults. Most of all, they go where no normal vehicles have gone before — where cell service, medical responders, mechanics, and so on, are few and far between.
At first glance, this might sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but off-roading, like everything else, is very safe when it’s done right. Auto accidents and injuries are not common. People generally ride in groups so they can help each other when problems arise. Learn how to handle the vehicle, observe the rules of trail etiquette & safety and you’re as safe (or safer) than city streets.
But, you need to remember that some riders aren’t so careful.
When Others Ruin Your Fun
- You may be riding with someone who rolls or flips the OHV or crashes into something.
- A poor driver may run into you.
- You may have a mechanical failure due to bad OHV design, manufacture, repair or customization.
- Your private land may suffer damage because OHV riders are trespassing.
- You or your vehicle may be hit by an OHV on a city street.
It’s like any other vehicle, irresponsible people cause auto accidents, injuries and property damage. When they do, you deserve compensation. In or around Boise, Idaho, and Salt Lake City, Utah, contact David L. Morgan for a free initial consultation. We’ll do everything we can to get you justice.