(10/15/2002)
The regulation of ATV's is building interest with some representatives prior to the next legislative session, mostly prompted by the deaths of three 13-year-old children in one recent week, bringing the ATV death total in the Mountain State to 17 for the year.

Several hundred more are injured every year, some critically, some permanently.

West Virginia has the highest number of deaths and injuries on the vehicles, more than any other state.

The West Virginia Legislature has declined to legislate ATV's for at least the past eight years, mostly because the laws could place restrictions for use on private property.

Leff Moore, a lobbyist for ATV's and recreational vehicles, said the vehicles should not be ridden on paved roads. He said the balloon tires are not designed for pavement, and are made to mold themselves to rough terrain for traction.

Most ATV sellers and enthusiasts want the vehicles to travel on back roads, and think banning them on any pavement is going too far. There is no helmet law and essentially no restrictions where they can be ridden, although some West Virginia towns have banned them.

West Virginia University studied the fatalities. About one-third happened on paved roads, the rest on private property.

Gov. Bob Wise said "Far too many young people are dying" and being seriously injured, and is supporting safety legislation.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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