View All Posts

Apr 30

April 2017

Posted on April 30, 2017 at 10:24 PM by Craig Johnson

This month in my article I would like to touch base on the new UTV ordinance the Board of Supervisors recently approved.  It seems that all the surrounding counties are following suit and allowing UTV units to operate on the county roadways.  The county ordinance has laid out rules you have to follow if you plan on riding your UTV on the roadways.  Please follow these rules.  I am a UTV rider and do not want to see people violating these rules and ruining it for the rest of us.  I saw this first hand last year in Allamakee County and other UTV drivers approached the ones misbehaving and spoke to them about it.  If you do not follow the rules we will be issuing you a citation.  There is currently one restricted area.  You cannot ride any UTV on the Clayton Rd. from the Garnavillo City limits to 232nd St. due to heavy truck traffic.  If you haven’t seen the ordinance, please review it which is posted on the County website  Ordinance #1-2017.  This is currently on the front of the web page.  If you have a problem with people on UTV’s please get the best description of the UTV and give us a call with your complaint.  We do have a UTV here and access to some others to assist in patrol if it is necessary.

          I was recently at a traffic accident assisting in directing traffic.  Our officers are trained on how to effectively, efficiently, and safely direct traffic at an accident scene.  We need to work in unison to ensure passing motorists and people at the scene are safe.  In order to do this we need your assistance. 

When approaching an accident you should pay attention to the closest officer near you and make eye contact, as we may be looking beyond you to see what other vehicles are approaching the scene.  Don’t proceed unless he motions you to do so.  The officer should be wearing an OSHA approved safety vest in bright colors.  Watch his posture and arm motions.  The officer may have a flashlight with an orange cone.  Try not to pay attention to the detail of what happened at the accident but keep alert in case a vehicle in front of you suddenly brakes. 

If you need to turn at that intersection please put on your turn signals ahead of time.  There is nothing more frustrating for us than planning on a vehicle coming forward and at the last minute they turn on their signal light for us.  Also if a turning lane is blocked, we may be motioning for you to turn in a different direction.  Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you can go the direction you want to.  If we could send you that way we would.  One last thing I would like to point out is speed.  Please slow down.  Some cars coming from a distance that see us motioning for them to go ahead, drive by us at a speed we would call unsafe and too fast.  Please pay attention and drive safe. 

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi