STILL, PASSING THE BUCK? - Legislature's ATV Debate

The WV Legislature says it is revising the on-the-road rules for ATVs.

The current law allows ATVs on all paved highways, except those with a center line. Even then, the ATVs can be ridden along the berm up to ten miles.

There were 54 ATV deaths in West Virginia in 2006, and hundreds of serious accidents.

The current proposal would ban ATVs from paved roads or highways, outlaw passengers unless allowed under manufacturers specifications and it would shift more responsibility to towns and counties.

The bill would also create an ATV incident form to better track accidents.

"My goodness! If the manufacturers know that these things are upsetting, turning over, I want to know from them what they can do? What can they do to make these safer?" said Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph.

Most ATV manufacturers have said for years they are unsafe on paved roads or with double riding, saying they were developed for off-the-road recreation.

With about one-half million ATVs in WV, most owners and riders want to ride them on paved highways.