Pennsylvania Laws for Driving ATVs on the Road

by River Hebda
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The state of Pennsylvania allows residents to own and operate all-terrain vehicles. Pennsylvania requires all ATV drivers to limit their riding to areas where ATV driving is permitted by law. Pennsylvania has numerous trails located on state property that may be enjoyed by registered ATV drivers. However, situations arise where an ATV may need to drive on public roads. Rules for on-road driving have been put in place to keep ATV drivers, motorists and pedestrians safe should these situations occur.

ATV Operation

All-terrain vehicles are prohibited from operating on public highways, streets and roads. Pennsylvania allows ATVs to be used on trails found on state-owned property as long as the trail is clearly marked for such use. Specific highways and roads may be used for ATV operation if designated for such use by the governing authority in the area. All-terrain vehicles may be used on private property with consent from the property owner.

Road Crossing

ATVs are permitted to cross streets and two-lane highways, but must follow specific guidelines to do so. The ATV must cross at a 90-degree angle to the direction of the street. The driver must cross at a place that is free from obstruction and allows for safe and quick passage to the other side. The ATV must be brought to a complete stop prior to crossing. Oncoming traffic maintains the right-of-way on the road if such traffic constitutes a driving hazard. If an ATV driver crosses a two-lane highway, the crossing must occur at an intersection between the highway and another road or highway.

Emergencies and Special Events

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Although Pennsylvania law prohibits ATVs from operating on state roads and highways, certain exceptions are allowed. An ATV may be operated on public roads if the governing authority of the area has declared a public emergency. From time to time, special events may occur where the use of ATVs is legal on public streets. These events must be for a predetermined amount of time and must have the permission of local authorities.

Fines and Enforcement

All law enforcement officials in the state of Pennsylvania have authority over ATV operation. Local and municipal authorities oversee ATV use on private property. First offense fines for violating ATV laws are subject to penalties of $50 to $200 plus the cost of prosecution. Fines of $100 to $300 plus the cost of prosecution are applied to second offenses.

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