DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — People could drive their all-terrain vehicles on some Iowa roads under a bill that cleared a Senate panel on Thursday.
The Senate Transportation Subcommittee passed the measure to the full Senate Ways and Means Committee. It earlier passed the House in a 75 to 22 vote.
The bill would require those who want to drive an ATV on county and some other paved roads to register with the state Department of Transportation for a $50 fee. ATVs would not be permitted on highways except on designated crossings, though cities could allow ATVs on certain highways within their jurisdiction.
Under current law, only farmers can get permission to use ATVs on some roads to get to and from their fields.
Representatives from the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa said the proposal could increase the potential for accidents, arguing ATVs aren't designed for road travel.
Sen. Tod Bowman, who sponsored the bill, said the proposal came from his constituents in Jackson County, who wanted to set up ATV trails that came into contact with public roads.
"The county is resistant because of the liability part of it," said Bowman, D-Maquoketa.
Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, said he doesn't want to take power away from local government that could choose to pass a city ordinance permitting ATV road use under current state law.
"As a former supervisor, I've never liked it when the state came in and told us what we had to do," he said.
Bowman said he will propose the $50 fee be given to the Road Use Tax Fund so it can be used to maintain Iowa's road infrastructure. The fee under the House bill would go into the state general fund as a sales tax.