Is it Legal to Drive a Dirt Bike on the Road in Nevada?

It is not surprising that dirt bike and all terrain vehicle (ATV) riders head out to explore and enjoy the great outdoors in Nevada. While riding these vehicles is exciting and fun, it is important to know that riding a dirt bike and/or an ATV on the street is not legal, unless you live within two miles of your dirt riding area. This is because they are designated as off-road use only vehicles.

Purpose and Design

Dirt bikes and ATVs are not designed to be ridden or driven on paved surfaces. In fact, excessive speed on these vehicles combined with reckless steering can result in a serious crash. Beyond this, riding a dirt bike or an ATV on the road puts you in danger because you are forced to share the roadway with much larger, heavier, and more powerful vehicles. These cars, trucks, and other passenger vehicles may have trouble seeing you. This, of course, increases the potential for harm or even death. In short, you or your kids should be taking all necessary safety precautions when riding a dirt bike or ATV. These vehicles should not be ridden or driven on paved streets and highways in an effort to use open space trails and riding areas. Just like car drivers must share the road with other drivers, recreational dirt bike and ATV riders must share areas with runners, hikers, walkers, rock climbers, and other pedestrians or bicycle riders. Be aware of your surroundings and respect the space of others.

What are Off-Highway Vehicles?

An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is a motor vehicle that is mainly designed for off-highway and all-terrain use. OHVs include dune buggies, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), all-terrain motorcycles (dirt bikes), and any other vehicle used on public lands for recreational purposes. In most cases, and with limited exceptions, every owner of an OHV must register the vehicle with the state. Moreover, city and county governments in Nevada may designate small areas of public streets for OHV use to enable access to or from off-road areas only. Likewise, these government entities may have age restrictions or other requirements that go beyond state law mandates.

Safety Equipment and OHVs

Any motorized vehicle that fails to have the standard safety equipment is restricted to off-highway use only. Examples of standard safety vehicle equipment includes lights and vehicles, or meeting federal vehicle standards. That being said, if a vehicle is manufactured and designated as specifically and only off-road or non-road use, it cannot be driven on Nevada public roads or highways even if it has safety equipment. Only two-wheeled motorcycles can be converted to on-road use; no other OHVs can be converted in this manner. The state of Nevada does not require a driver’s license nor does it have a minimum age requirement for OHVs that are operated off-highway in the state.

Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know owns an OHV and has questions about Nevada law, or has suffered a personal injury in Nevada, contact the seasoned lawyers at Parry & Pfau. These personal injury attorneys can answer any questions you may have about your rights and obligations under Nevada law. Click here today to schedule your initial call.

(image courtesy of Marcos Moraes)