Should ATVs be allowed on city streets?

A copy of an email sent to all Elkins City Council members:

With regards to the ATVs ordinance currently in front of city council. I want to oppose such ordinance whole-heartedly for several reasons and ask council several questions related to their thinking about and decisions concerning this ordinance. First, I would like to thank and support those council members who voted against this ordinance. Marilyn Cuonzo, Karen Wilmoth, David Parker, Judy Guye and Rob Chenoweth.


1. Our city police do not sufficiently enforce our current laws on the books, with regards to speeding in town and driving ATVs in town.

2. City streets are for citizens to travel through neighborhoods to get to one part of our city to another. Part of what creates a civilized society is moving beyond cow paths or dirt roads, citizens who think they can do whatever they want, and not having “leadership” that evidently does not know the difference.

Next are several questions I have for council members:

1. Are you aware that Randolph and Harrison avenues are federal roads and would not permit ATVs ?

2. Have you defined ATV and what that means?

“What is an ATV? At its simplest, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is defined as a vehicle with the following: a straddle seating position, handlebar steering, and the ability to maneuver through a variety of terrain conditions.”

Terrain refers to ground or a tract of ground, especially with regard to its natural or topographical features or fitness for some use. Are we redefining city streets as “terrain.” Is council aware that the tires of these vehicles are not made for paved roads?

3. Has the council considered that there are a multitude of different types of ATVs from three wheels, to six or more?

4. Has the council determined who would manage this program, to ensure that only defined ATVs would be on the streets?

I have seen no evidence that council members have researched these issues

Below I have included sections of the Bill 690 and related parts of the code.

According to Senate Bill 690, the owner of a special purpose vehicle being operated as a street-legal special purpose vehicle shall ensure the vehicle is equipped with:

(1) One or more headlamps;

(2) One or more tail lamps;

(3) One or more brake lamps;

(4) A tail lamp or other lamp constructed and placed to illuminate the registration plate with a white light;

(5) One or more red reflectors on the rear;

(6) Amber electric turn system, one on each side of the front;

(7) Amber or red electric turn signals;

(8) A braking system, other than a parking brake;

(9) A horn or other warning device;

(10) A muffler and, if required by an applicable federal statute or rule, an emission control system;

(11) Rearview mirrors on the right and left side of the driver;

(12) A windshield, unless the operator wears eye protection while operating the vehicle;

(13) A speedometer, illuminated for nighttime operation;

(14) For vehicles designed by the manufacturer for carrying one or more passengers, a seat designed for passengers;

(15) Tires that have at least 2/32 inches or greater tire tread.

(16) When owners of a street-legal special purpose vehicle have ensured that such vehicles are equipped as required by this subsection, and those owners obtain a valid registration card and certificate of insurance for such vehicles, those vehicles are eligible to apply for a motorcycle trailer sticker.

I would sincerely hope that City Council would have the guts to drop this ordinance before they look even more foolish to regular citizens such as myself. I don’t mean to attack ATV owners; I loved my Tote-Goat back in the 60s and 70s. I’m just saying there is a place for everything but we also have to have some priorities for our city.

Dr. Maryann

Maxwell Durland



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