Motor traffic in nature
It is prohibited to drive a motorised vehicle in off-road terrain, even if it is your own land. There are some general exceptions from the ban and it is also possible to apply for an exemption for driving off-road. Special rules apply to personal water crafts and snowmobiles.
Off-road driving is prohibited in the whole of Sweden. The County Administrative Board may decide on an exemption from the off-road driving ban and the snowmobile ban. We work to ensure that motor traffic does not interfere with, or harm, the land, vegetation, recreational life, animal life, reindeer husbandry, agriculture or forestry.
Ban on off-road driving
The main provision under the Off-Road Driving Act is that it is prohibited to drive a motorised vehicle on bare ground, even if it is your own land.
What counts as terrain?
All natural land off roads is counted as terrain, for example:
- bare mountains
- hiking trails
- running trails
- tractor paths
What counts as a motorised vehicle?
Motorised vehicles is a collective term for all types of vehicles powered by a motor, for example:
- four-wheel ATV
- electric bike
- tracked vehicle
Personal water crafts (PWC)
You may only drive a personal water craft in designated waterways or in areas that are approved by the County Administrative Board. If you break the rules you may be fined.
Snowmobiles may only be driven on snow-covered ground, where neither the ground nor the vegetation are damaged. Within certain areas, mostly in the mountains, the snowmobile traffic is regulated by snowmobile bans. There, you are only permitted to drive on designated and marked scooter trails.
Exceptions from the ban on off-road driving
General exceptions from the ban on off-road driving apply to:
- Staff working on a governmental or municipal assignment
- Civil protection
- Fire department
- Mountain rescue
- Reindeer husbandry
- Retrieving trapped bears, moose, deer or wild boar.
The exemptions require an approval from the landowner and only apply if the measure cannot be carried out in other appropriate ways.
Exemption for off-road driving
You may apply for an exemption for driving off-road if you have special reasons. An exemption is a single exception from the ban. Besides the exemption, you need the approval of the landowner to drive on the ground.
Reasons for an exemption may, for example, be:
- Certain material transports
- And more
The e-services and forms of the County Administrative Board in this field are not available in English. If you wish to submit an application or notification, you may contact the County Administrative Board, which can inform you how to proceed.
The Swedish Transport Administration provides more information about which rules that apply to helmets and off-road driving.
Questions and answers about helmet rules on the Swedish Transport Administration's web site External link.
County Administrative Board of Östergötland County
Phone 010-233 50 00