DNR Urges Snowmobile, ATV Riders to Use Extra Caution in Road Rights of Way and Ditches

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DNR Urges Snowmobile, ATV Riders to Use Extra Caution in Road Rights of Way and DitchesThe Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders to use extra caution this winter when operating their machines in ditches and other areas within road right-of-ways.

Vehicle operators should reduce speed in construction areas (particularly at night) and be aware of such hidden dangers as equipment, silt fences, wood survey stakes, steel right-of-way-markers, brush piles, sedimentation ponds, and boulders. Some of this material may remain months after construction activity ceases.

State snowmobile regulations allow riders to operate on outside ditch slopes and ditch bottoms but prohibit operation on roadways, shoulders and the inner slopes of a state or county road. Regulations also prohibit operation on the medians of four-lane highways and within the rights of way of any interstate highway.

Regulations also prohibit riders from operating against traffic at night within highway right of ways.

ATV operators must possess a valid driver’s license where it’s legal to drive on highway right-of-ways such as slopes and ditches, and when crossing roads. Minnesota residents born after December 31, 1976 must have a snowmobile safety certificate in their possession, or a snowmobile safety certificate indicator on their driver’s license or on their Minnesota ID card, to operate a snowmobile in Minnesota.