Douglas County to crack down on off-highway vehicles on paved roads |

Douglas County to crack down on off-highway vehicles on paved roads

Due to recent events involving off-highway vehicles, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will focus on enforcement of violations on paved county roads under applicable Nevada Revised Statutes. 

The sheriff’s office reminded Douglas County residents of the following Nevada laws governing OHV use on paved County roads.

NRS 490.060 generally defines OHV’s as any motor vehicle that is designed primarily for off-highway and all-terrain use.  OHV’s include all-terrain vehicles, all-terrain motorcycles, and dune buggies.

Only large OHV’s, specifically defined under NRS 490.043 as any all-terrain vehicle that includes seating capacity for at least two people abreast, and total seating capacity for at least four people or a truck bed, can operate on paved Douglas County roads.  To operate on a paved County road, the large OHV must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and must meet the equipment requirements of NRS 490.120. 

The equipment requirements include: 

  • At least one headlamp that illuminates objects at least 500 feet ahead of the OHV
  • At least one tail lap that is visible at least 500 feet behind the OHV
  • At least one red reflector on the rear of the OHV unless the tail lamp is red and reflective
  • A stop lamp on the rear of the OHV
  • A muffler which is in working order and which is in constant operation when the vehicle is running

All other OHV’s, including all-terrain motorcycles and dune buggies, can only operate on paved Douglas County roads under limited circumstances which include:

  • Perpendicular crossing of the paved road from a complete stop solely for the purpose of continuing on the OHV’s direction of trail travel
  • Solely for the purpose of loading or unloading the OHV from another vehicle or trailer as close as practicable to the OHV trail
  • During an emergency if it is impossible or impracticable to use another vehicle  
  • All operators of OHV’s on paved County roads must hold a valid driver’s license

The sheriff’s office understands the value of living in a rural area, with access to public lands which provide recreational opportunities to Douglas County residents. 

“Traffic and OHV use violations in Douglas County are one of the biggest complaints my office receives daily,” said Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley. “Traffic congestion is obvious in all parts of the county.  With the increasing number of vehicles, which occupy our roads every day, I believe allowing OHV’s on paved roadways, which should not be there, is a hazard that we don’t need.  I believe there is a balance between enjoying all that Douglas County has to offer, enjoying the freedom from government oversight, and not endangering or unduly annoying others. We must always be good neighbors and respect others, so that we can all enjoy this beautiful place we call home.”

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