Safety laws are among the most successful means of reducing injuries, but their effectiveness is strongly influenced by the level of enforcement. To characterize enforcement of off-road vehicle (ORV) laws statewide, analyses of citations were performed using Iowa Court Information System data. From 2005–2015, 5173 individuals were charged with 5643 citations issued. Citations averaged <5/county/year, decreased dramatically over time, and varied by county when normalized to registered all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Over 90% of operators cited were male and Caucasian. One-fifth were <18 years old. The top five violations were: operation on a highway/snowmobile trail (51%), registration/identification number not documented/displayed (19%), prohibited use in a park/preserve (5.5%), and operation with more persons than the vehicle is designed to carry (4.4%). The Department of Natural Resources issued the highest percentage of citations, followed in decreasing order by Sheriff, Police, State Patrol, and Conservation officers. Significant differences were identified when citations were compared by sex, age, race, enforcement agency, disposition (guilty vs. not guilty), and when comparing counties with or without an ORV park. These characteristics suggest limited and variable enforcement of laws statewide that may reduce their potential to prevent deaths and injuries, and that improved strategies to support ORV law enforcement are needed.
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