SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — All-terrain vehicles known as ATVs could soon be legal on public roadways in Iowa. House file 800 would allow people to drive ATVs and UTVs on county highways. Currently, the laws on where ATVs are allowed vary by county.

Andrew Dutler is a crime prevention officer with the Sioux City Police Department. He said ATV accidents have happened in areas where they’re prohibited.

“It’s one of those situations where they’re not supposed to operate in the roadway but maybe they were planning on traveling a short distance in the road and we have had incidents where they weren’t easily seen by a driver in a vehicle or were traveling to fast for that particular roadway and lost control,” Dutler said.

Five years ago, the city of Le Mars researched the possibility of allowing ATVs and UTVs on city streets. The only roads in Le Mars an ATV cannot access are Business 75 and Highway 3. Le Mars police chief Kevin Vande Vegte said they have had little to no issues with those vehicles on the road.

“The fact that they cannot be operated on the state highways is more of an inconvenience I believe for individuals,” Vande Vegte said. “I don’t believe that we’re going to have increased safety issues or other concerns if this bill does pass.”

Taage Foreman is the general manager of Bob’s Bike Shop in Le Mars. He said the different rules between cities and counties create a lot of confusion for his customers

“Our shop is outside city limits,” Foreman said. “Technically it’s unlawful to ride to our place. or if you’re three miles out on the farm and you need to run to town quick to get gas, technically it’s unlawful to do that because it’s a county road not a city road.”