Senator Ron Stollings said he is in favor of a bill that would regulate the way people ride ATVs in West Virginia.
The bill, S-509, which was passed from the Senate Transportation Committee last week, would prevent ATVs from being ridden on hardtop roads, even those with center lines. In addition, the bill would establish a registry of accidents.
Law enforcement would be required to submit reports on each ATV accident that they investigate, so authorities can have a better idea of how many injuries are sustained by riders each year.
The prohibition from riding on hardtop roads would be waved at the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.
Another provision allows riders in rural areas to drive down the berms of highways for up to 2 miles. The most controversial provision of the law, which finally passed out of committee, was the prohibition on “double heading.”
This would ban people from transporting more than one rider on an ATV, unless the machine was designed for two passengers.
“This is just a safety issue,” Stollings told CVN. “I see people riding with another passenger, sometimes a child, all the time. Most of the time they don’t have helmets on either.”
Stollings continued, “we see injuries from emergency rooms often from these sorts of accidents, and there needs to be something done about it.”
The senator, however, took time to praise the vast majority of ATV riders who pilot their vehicles safely. “I’ve been to the trails, and seen these riders around my home, and most of them put on their helmets and exercise their sport cautiously. These people are not the problem. The problem is misuse, alcohol and fast driving.”
Stollings predicted this bill would pass the senate.