West Virginia City Votes to Ban All-Terrain Vehicles

April 30, 2008

West Virginia’s second largest city has voted to ban all-terrain vehicles from public roads and property.

Huntington’s City Council voted unanimously April 28 to endorse the measure that was sought by police who were concerned about children using ATVs on city streets without protective gear. Riders are also causing erosion by riding near a portion of the city’s flood wall.

“They’re causing a lot of danger, not only for the driver of an ATV, but also for pedestrians and motorists,” Mayor David Felinton said.

State lawmakers banned ATVs from roads with center lines in 2004, but lawmakers did not address the use of helmets or limit the number of people who can ride an ATV. Attempts to modify the law since have not been successful.

Last year, there were 45 ATV deaths in West Virginia and 60 percent occurred on paved roads. The state set a record in 2006 when at least 54 people died in ATV-related accidents.

Huntington is the one of several cities and counties in the state to adopt local laws restricting ATV usage.

“I don’t like them because we’ve got a bunch of nuts in Huntington riding around with their kids on front of these things,” said Councilman Jim Ritter, whose district includes the damaged floodwall.

Riders have built ramps near the floodwall and tire tracks are starting to cause erosion, he said.

Information from: The Herald-Dispatch,

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