From left, Moffat County residents Joe and DeLaine Brown pose with Bruce White, sitting atop his all-terrain vehicle. The three of them hope White will be able to drive his ATV past the end of his driveway by the beginning of 2010. The Craig City Council plans to vote on a proposed ordinance allowing ATV traffic on most city streets at its meetings Nov. 24 and Dec. 8.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

From left, Moffat County residents Joe and DeLaine Brown pose with Bruce White, sitting atop his all-terrain vehicle. The three of them hope White will be able to drive his ATV past the end of his driveway by the beginning of 2010. The Craig City Council plans to vote on a proposed ordinance allowing ATV traffic on most city streets at its meetings Nov. 24 and Dec. 8.

Residents hope city passes ordinance for ATVs on public streets

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Bruce White, DeLaine Brown and other proponents of allowing all-terrain and off-highway vehicles on city streets never second-guessed the openness of local officials, they said.

Whereas some might have settled back on thinking things never change, or that politicians don’t buck the status quo, White said he and others took an idea and ran with it.

The Craig City Council heard the introduction of an ordinance allowing ATV traffic on public roadways at its Nov. 10 meeting, and the council plans to review the proposal for first and second readings at its regular meetings Nov. 24 and Dec. 8, respectively.

If approved on second reading, a system for registering properly equipped and insured ATVs and OHVs with the city will be official. The heretofore restricted vehicles would be legal on all city streets with the exception of state highways, such as Yampa Avenue and Victory Way.

White, Brown and others first approached the council in the summer with a 21-page research packet that included similar ordinances on other cities and states across the West, as well as a draft ordinance for Craig.

The ordinance now being considered by the City Council is not substantially different from the draft first offered, but there are several issues left to discuss, city officials said.

The Colorado Department of Revenue doesn’t register ATVs at the state level. As such, the state won’t apply its usual penalties, such as license points or mandatory license suspensions, to a person cited while driving an ATV or OHV.

The council and other city staff are trying to figure out how to make penalties strict enough at the local level to discourage residents from blindly breaking traffic laws.

At the same time, the city may raise the age limit for anyone trying to register an ATV or OHV to 18 years old. The ordinance currently restricts use to anyone with a valid Colorado driver’s license, which would mean anyone age 16 and older could apply.

White said he hopes the city won’t follow through on the age change because it seems punitive.

“A kid can get on that (1,100 cubic-centimeter engine) mo­­torcycle out there and ride it anywhere in the U.S.,” he said. “Why can’t the kids of Craig be trusted to drive an ATV 25 miles an hour around town?”

Much of the ATV ordinance’s language was built around existing motorcycle requirements, White added.

All of the needed safety equipment for registering an ATV — such as headlamps, tail lamps or reflectors, horn, muffler and a windshield or eye protection for the operator — came from state motorcycle statutes, he said.

At the same time, four-wheelers are taller and broader than many motorcycles, and more stable on the ground, White added, which should make them safer in traffic.

Other residents with apprehensions about allowing people to drive four-wheelers in Craig have cited a possible lack of control on the part of riders as reasons to limit registrations to people 18 and older, and as a reason to vote down the ordinance in its entirety.

White said he knows that four-wheelers are used as high-powered toys, but driving them in the city has nothing to do with someone taking an ATV into the county and running it through the mud.

“It’s two different things,” he said. “When you’re out on the city streets, you have self-preservation in mind.”

White added that there is not much difference in riding an ATV around town or a bicycle.

“I work a mile-and-a-half from here, and my primary vehicle is a diesel, four-door, four-by-four,” he said. I’d much rather hop on my four-wheeler to go to work than run the tires off that truck. It’s no different than my mountain bike I have in my garage. I ride that all around town, too.”

Comments

kp81625 5 years, 1 month ago

I hope it stays the way it is. I really don't want to see what happens when some kid comes racing from a side street and bashes the side of my car or runs in front of me. If city council approves this ordinance, it will make the town of Craig that much more unsafe. Who wants to hear someone racing up and down the streets at any hour of the day on these "toys"? How will the police enforce this new ordinance? What are the consequences for violation? These are my questions and concerns.

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David Moore 5 years, 1 month ago

It is not going to make a difference what you try to say, they deem them safe and harmless no matter who is driving it and by some magic stroke of a pen, everyone will follow the rules and behave, which those of us living in reality know will not happen. I did some searching and found some interesting facts...I know it is in Oregon, but this is the result of Trauma center visits by ATV and ORMC(off road motorcycles). I find it quite shocking the percentage jump in the visits as a result of these vehicles. Keep in mind that this is off road and does not include city streets, which IMO would make the stats worse: "Patients injured riding off-road vehicles and needing treatment in Oregon’s trauma centers increased 76%. Sixty percent of patients were injured riding an ATV, and 35% were injured riding an ORMC. Children (aged younger than 15 years) were 20% and 23% of patients in the earlier and later years. At Oregon’s University-based Level I trauma center, in the years 2002 to 2005, more than twice as many patients needed tertiary care for severe injuries caused by off-road vehicle crashes compared with the previous 4 years. CONCLUSIONS: There has been an alarming increase in the number of both ATV and ORMC riders requiring treatment in Oregon’s trauma centers. Surgeons need to join a coalition of health care providers, citizens and public officials to implement a comprehensive injury-prevention response to this. Particularly disturbing was an escalation in the number of children sustaining death and injury while riding either ATVs or ORMCs." The council is not going to make it better by allowing it. People, less those of you who ride responsibly(a small minority), are going to see this as a free for all and an easy way to get home from the bar, party or whatever else besides 'running to the store" or "going a mile and a half to work". There are hundreds of people around here who own them, 10 of you will do it right, the other 200 won't. Those are the ones who will cause injury or death to themselves and others and they are the ones I am concerned about, not you that will ride responsibly: "The CPSC(Consumer Product Safety Commision) estimates that in the US, over a recent 6-year period, numbers of four-wheel vehicles doubled from 3.1 million to 6.9 million." If six years ago 300 people in Craig owned one, 600 do now, according to the above logic.

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David Moore 5 years, 1 month ago

Continued.....sorry. This excerpt was found in the Journal of the Wilderness Medical Society and written by Dr. Allan Reishus, local stats:

"Horse-related injuries declined during the study period, most likely as a result of the decreasing use of horses for big game hunting. In the first 4 years of the study, 15 fractures were reported to have resulted from interaction with horses, while in the most recent 4 years, just 2 fractures were related to the use of horses. All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use increased markedly during the study period. Combined ATV and other motor vehicle injuries increased from 21 in the first 4 years of the study to 25 in the most recent 4 years. Gunshot wounds (GSWs) accounted for 4 (<1%) of the ED visits."

ATV's have virtually replaced horses and are more dangerous than the guns themselves...again...this is off road, these stats will only increase by allowing them on city streets where it is more crowded than the forest and where more moving objects will be encountered. All of you who are in favor of this are missing the bigger picture by a longshot, if you ask me, you are being selfish. I am worried that one of my family or friends will be plowed into or over by some drunk who thought riding the ATV to the bar and sneaking it home is a good way to go. Think of the safety of others instead of your own self gratification, not everyone is a responsible rider.

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stoffle 5 years, 1 month ago

Not everyone who owns a atv will choose to ride it on the city streets. Once again it will have to pass the required inspection in order to be legal on the city streets. I am sure not at any given time will you ever see (600) avts on the street, well unless there is an atv jamboree in town.

kp81625 The violation would be hefty fines at this time. "Kids" will not be legal to drive, once again you have to be a legal licensed driver. These machines are not "toys". Some cost as much if not more than the average small car.

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Sumarjn 5 years, 1 month ago

Weather Forecast for Craig Colorado: (...Because we all know how kids follow the rules).

Girl dies in ATV crash in Chanceford Township By TED CZECH Daily Record/Sunday News Updated: 11/12/2009 11:14:48 PM EST

Neighborhood friends of a girl killed Thursday while driving an ATV look toward the scene of the crash on Sechrist Flat Road in Chanceford Township. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS BIL BOWDEN) A 15-year-old girl from the Felton area died Thursday afternoon in an ATV crash in Chanceford Township, according to state police. Trooper Michael Levinsky said that just after 3 p.m., the 15-year-old, who was driving the ATV, and her 14-year-old female passenger were riding southbound on Sechrist Flat Road when the driver lost control "for unknown reasons."

The Yamaha ATV went off the road to the west and struck a fence, throwing both girls, Levinsky said.

The driver, who was not wearing a helmet, died, Levinsky said.

The passenger, who was wearing a helmet, suffered severe head injuries and was taken to York Hospital, Levinsky said.

Police and emergency personnel responded to Sechrist Flat Road, near Oakbrook Circle and Daugherty Road, at 3:08 p.m.

York County Deputy Coroner Steve Cosey said the 15-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and died from head trauma.

There will be no autopsy on her body, and she will not be identified until members of her family have been notified, Cosey said.

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David Moore 5 years, 1 month ago

Kids zoom around the Sandrocks, Jeep runs, alleyways and even streets on motorcycles and ATV's RIGHT NOW, present day, I don't know how you can miss it. A stroke of a pen will not keep them off the streets, there are not enough cops to keep them off the streets...they are gone by the time you report them and back out 15 minutes later when the law is gone. It's common sense, they WERE NOT designed to be used on paved streets and highways (or grocery aisles;), if they were, don't ya think this would have been allowed LONG AGO.

Sumarjn, thank you for your post, it just solidifies the reason to defeat this idea, what a tragedy. Hence my stance against this.

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Sumarjn 5 years, 1 month ago

I have driven motorcycles and ATV for years and to say an ATV is safer than a motorcycle, I think, is false information. The turning radius at speeds over 25 in an ATV is very sharp and demands high experience. On an ATV, one must lean just their body to gain balance, vs. a motorcycle that can lean as a unit. Also, to think that ATV riders will mull around town at 25 mph, is also, I think, a false assertion.To compare a motorcycle to an ATV - is the classic "apples and oranges" thing.

I hate to say that the people who want to ride ATV's around Craig are ill-guided and selfish, but I fear that is just the case. If even ONE person, kid or adult, is killed while riding in Craig, let the lawsuits begin towards the City of Craig? It is just a silly idea! Lastly? What a perfect set-up for the kids - who can put on a helmet to hide their idenity (as kids) from law inforcement.

Chattooga Co. Teen Killed in ATV Crash Posted: Nov 08, 2009 9:43 AM MST Updated: Nov 09, 2009 4:28 PM MST

Chattooga Co. Teen Killed in ATV Crash 1:14
Tyler CornUpdate: Monday

A makeshift memorial sits outside the scene where police say 15-year-old Tyler Corn died after slamming his ATV into a tree. A police report states Corn slammed the ATV into a car, a mailbox and then hit a tree.

Police say Corn and a 14-year-old boy were on the ATV when Corn lost control off Johnson Cemetery Road.

A witness said they heard a loud bang outside.

He died Saturday on the way to Erlanger. The 14-year-old boy is recovering in the hospital.

Monday students at Chattooga High School took orders for rest in peace bracelets. His friends and classmates say the pain is still fresh.

Sunday

CHATTOOGA COUNTY, Ga. (WRCB) - Eyewitness News has learned a Chattooga County teenager was killed in an ATV crash Saturday. Another teenager was seriously injured.
Rome Ga. State Patrol's Communication Officer Joseph Swords tells us the two 14 year olds were riding a single ATV Saturday around 7:15 p.m. when the crash happened. Neither were wearing protective gear.

Swords says the teens were traveling west on Holland Chattoogaville Road when they crossed over Georgia Highway 114 onto Johnson Cemetery Road. That's when the driver of the ATV lost control.

Swords says the ATV went off the shoulder of the road, hit a parked car and a mailbox and then hit a tree head on.

Both teens were airlifted to Erlanger. According to Swords one of the 14 year olds died en route; the other is being treated for serious injuries.

– Summerville Mom I was a substitute teacher for 3 years and I had Tyler a good bit. He was a wonderful kid and so full of life. His family is in my prayers and heart. Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 5:54:08 PM– Flag – Like – Reply –

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curious_reader12 5 years, 1 month ago

Would you still have to have a legal license to drive your atv on the cirty roads? Or are they going to let anyone drive around no matter of their age?

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lonelyone 5 years, 1 month ago

I didn't think this would be a bad idea until reading some of the posts and then it reminded my how mad I get to listen to my neighbors son ride their 4 wheeler back and forth in their yard, gunning the engine and such. I get really tired of hearing it and I'm not sure it would help to have this ordinance. He'd just be riding it up and down the street. I do think there are people who would like to see this pass that are responsible and will drive with care. To blame everything that could happen on the ATV drivers is crazy. Auto drivers will have to be just as alert for these things on the streets as the ATV driver. I wonder if the City could do a trial run? Hopefully in that time period no one would get hurt, but the City could see how people are obeying the law and how many tickets are issued and such before making it permanent? Also instead of just saying anyone with a drivers license could drive one of these things, make them get a special license and take a test or get some kind of certificate that has to be presented to an officer if the driver is stopped for a violation. It doesn't have to be a money maker for the city or county, but if kids and adults alike had to do this then it might increase safety all around. And if you have to do something like this for a motorcycle, why not for these things?!!

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everready 5 years, 1 month ago

People will always have a difference of opinion. New laws are created every day. Some good, some bad. But yet things generally work out. I noticed in Sumarjn stories they both refer to underage, unlicensed and illegal operation of ATV's. This is not a fair comparison. This will happen no matter if there are laws or not. If you look at it open minded the council could actually be putting some teeth into the illegal operation of ATV's that is occurring now. Maybe people will think twice about operating an ATV carelessly or illegally if they face upwards of a $1000.00 fine and loosing their ATV. If you had attended the meetings and listened you would have heard drivers would need to be licensed, insured, over 18 and the ATV's registered. Granted there all always a few bad apples. But that even occurrs in motor vehicles. Look at the number of arrests for DUI, DUR, DUS in this town. All these were driving motor vehicles.

And to David, your study by the Dr. does not indicate how many of these people hurt on ATV's were riding offroad compared to other roads. More ATV accidents happen offroad than on roadways. I know of 2 fatal accidents involving ATV's on COUNTY ROADS in Moffat County in the past 10 years. 1 involved alcohol. The other was a prior medical condition. The numbers in the report are a little misleading also in the fact it includes other offroad vehicles (snowmobiles, dirt bikes etc). So before making your decisions lets let the council come up with a full draft and work from there.

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stoffle 5 years, 1 month ago

curious reader: You do have to have a legal valid driver license. The age will either be 16 or 18. Has not been determined yet.

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MtnMaker 5 years, 1 month ago

Anyone from the CPD able to help out with some stats from OUR town? Like Local atv deaths, drinking and atv's and problems the local law enforcement has with atvs in the city limet? I know some of you just gotta be chomping on the bit on this one. How about the Moffat Sheriff's Dept.? Ya know were its going after it gets passed in the city?

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Sumarjn 5 years, 1 month ago

Stiff fines and penalties are just fine - but when a kid gets killed on an ATV while hiding under their helmet to disguise their age, who is going to care about the fines then?

Hypothetical: A light rain/frosty conditions and the ATV mingles in traffic. Suddenly the ATV has to make a quick, sharp turn to avoid another vehicle? Lets hear it from some experienced ATV riders as to what is going to happen? Same scenario with good road conditions? Forget motorcycles, because they are not in the equation.

Mr. White states: “When you’re out on the city streets, you have self-preservation in mind.”

Sound like a very good reason to fail this ordinance?

I think all comparisons are a good thing so that the council can be informed from all angles.

Good luck with the ordinance - I just personally think it is a bad idea. The ATV was not made to mingle with regular traffic.

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Sumarjn 5 years, 1 month ago

I enjoy riding my ATV, but, there is a time a place for these (obviously) dangerous machines. The ATV is fun, which is why so many kids enjoy them. They just don't understand the consequences? Many adults don't either...


Growing Number of Adults in ATV Accidents Seniors account for high percentage of injuries

ATVs

• Feds Vote to Regulate 4-Wheel ATVs • Growing Number of Adults in ATV Accidents • Yamaha Halts Sales of Rhino ATVs Pending Repairs • Feds Probe Yamaha Rhino ATV • ATV Injuries and Deaths Continue to Rise • ATV Deaths, Injuries Climbing • All-Terrain Vehicles Not Child's Play • CPSC Warns Meerkat 50 Youth ATVs Defective and Dangerous • Pressure Builds For Tougher ATV Rules • Doctors Want Children Banned from ATVs • Feds Take Closer Look at ATV Injuries and Deaths • Five Worst Summer Jobs


• Recalls

For the eighth year in a row, serious injuries caused by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) increased, and children under age 16 continued to suffer a significant portion of those injuries, according to a report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Estimated deaths on ATVs increased as well.

"Every year, more and more families are devastated by deaths and injuries caused by ATVs. This tragic problem continues to be in dire need of an aggressive and immediate solution," stated Rachel Weintraub, Director of Product Safety for Consumer Federation of America. "Congress, CPSC, state legislatures, the ATV industry, and the consumer and health care community still have miles to go before we adequately reduce the hazards caused by ATVs."

"This new report shows more of the same -- continued high death and injury rates among children on all-terrain vehicles," said American Academy of Pediatrics President David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP. "ATVs continue to kill and seriously injure children at alarming rates. The CPSC's meager efforts to stem the tide have been entirely ineffective, and industry has done nothing to make these dangerous vehicles safer.

Read more: http://consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/05/atv_seniors.html

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bwhite 5 years, 1 month ago

Sumarjn Point taken, and there will continue to be negative statistics produced every year, just as there will be in all things in life. Just a few years ago there was growing concern about the numbers of deaths on the Nations ski slopes. One person dies every 15 minutes in an auto accident. Thousands of people have met thier demise while enjoying a simple horseback ride. I'm not trying to be insulting here, its just that we can go on and on about activities that might cause death, and if I want to look hard enough, I can find statistics and negative comments for any of them. Swimming, Bicycling, Working, Traveling. I do not mean to trivialize any of it but there is a certain amount of risk in everything you do. If you think operating your atv on the street with other vehicles is more risk than your willing to take, by all means, don't do it. But please allow others to make that choice for themselves.

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David Moore 5 years, 1 month ago

I totally agree there is a certain risk in anything you do, but why ADD another risk out on our streets? This risk, to you AND us, is not there presently, please tell me a good reason to add it?

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als362 5 years ago

To bwhite: I am making that choice for myself. That is why I am totally opposed to this atv business, and why it is and always will be a bad idea. You can choose to make the decision to ride your atv where it is appropriate to do so. That place is NOT on the city streets.

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Sumarjn 5 years ago

I think the reason for negative statistics are to provide for positive results? I'm all for personal choices and I'm sure the City Council will carefully consider the ordinance. If it were left up to me, I'd have to say no - based solely on the turning radius of the ATV. You won't ever hear the word "radius" in an accident reports though - it's always that - "the driver lost control."

I wish ATV riders well if the ordinance passes.

I'd like to think I'm well experienced on an ATV, which is why I would never consider riding one in regular traffic.

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