About the author

Bridget Huber is a FairWarning contributor.

16 comments to “Despite High Death Toll, Push Is On To Open More Public Roads to ATVs”

  1. Dee

    When it comes down to it is very simple,
    Yes, ATVs are fast and dangerous and why are children being allowed to ride by themselves its a shame. Why are there no regulations and tag requirements is hard to understand since people use it to travel in their neighborhoods and ride just like cars.
    On the other side of the subject I have to say how much fun and mind disconnecting it is to be on an ATV, we ride on parks that are allowed with safety requirements that have always keep us safe. My kids know that no driving under 16 is allowed plus I added a driver’s licence requirement on our bikes (if you can’t drive a car you shouldn’t be riding a bike).

  2. ATVs on Public Roads | Consumer Federation of America

    […] Bridget Huber, Despite High Death Toll, Push is On to Open More Public Roads to ATVs, Fair Warning, … […]

  3. Rob Meier

    This article is one – sided. How many children lose their lives is automotive accidents each year? Why were those numbers witheld? I’ll bet it is much higher than the atvs. So, why not outlaw all cars?

    Any life loss is a tragedy be it a child or adult. Allowing atvs on the roadways will no doubt add to our annual death toll,. however, I don’t believe it will be more than that of other automotive accidents.

    If atvs are allowed on roadways they should be held to the same laws as motorcycles: inspected, insured, licensed, and operated only by those with motorcycle drivers license.

  4. larry

    A push is on to make smaller cars but you don’t see safety groups wanting to ban these cars from the highways….

  5. Child #297845763

    I’m so tired of living in a world desiged for control freaks/children.

    It’s all you control freaks that start wars, brainwash others into thinking your utopian society is so wonderful (which it may be for a short time), tax and permit and regulate to the point of destruction etc…

    Ultimately your tyrannical ways only destroy freedom (which is the only thing that actually ensures the most possible security/safety), freewill, and the very heart and soul of what makes humans great.

    If you think you can create such a safe and wonderful utopia why don’t all of you move to an area where you all can attempt to out control freak each other willfully. That way you violent thugs can stop putting a gun to the head of those of us that don’t wish to go along with your lies/violence/deception/control to achieve this so called “glorious utopia” of yours!

  6. John Doe

    I have had an atv all my life. I was hit by a truck when I was 9 almost dieing . I accepted full responsibility for the accident, I didn’t blame anybody. Now as a young adult I have gained experience on my atv. Parents are responsible for their child’s deaths on atvs: not atv companies, not other riders, and not laws regarding atv safety. I would bet money for those who oppose to driving atvs on public roads don’t ride on a regular basis. In Ontario, Canada if you have a drivers license in most townships you can drive an atv on public roads. You need a id plate on the back of your atv ,helmet, and insurance. Canada makes tons of money off this, and the people are enlightened with this privilege. If your worried about you or your family being injured on public roads while riding an atv, stay the hell off the pavement and ride around your yard.

  7. Tom Budlong

    I tracked ATV deaths for a brief period and got essentially the same stats. The most tragic were children putting a sibling toddler on the rack in back. Lots of deaths were rollovers with the ATV landing on top and crushing the victim, and hitting trees after loosing control. The machines are seductive. The fun aspect lures you until you are riding on the edge without realizing it.

  8. Ascensores Jose Silva

    We used to ride our vehicles anywhere freely without thinking of the possible consequences. Unfortunately though these consequences may not be apparent at first glance, the statistics are responsible for reminding us.

  9. John Lambert

    The appalling aspect of this matter related to the to ATV use on sealed roads is that whilst the manufacturers may understand the reasons why they direct that these vehicles not be operated on public roads they are not transparent with the public about it. It is not primarily the high centre of mass of these units, nor is it primarily the low-pressure tires. It is primarily the fact that these units are mostly fitted with cheap front suspension arrangements comprising of a lower wishbone and a strut. The problem with this design is that it leads to bump steer, roll steer, and/or speed wobbles because the angle of the tyre alters as it moves up and down. So a situation occurs where the geometry of the steer axle suspension results in a feedback situation to the handlebars, and if the rider fights that feedback they can end up losing control and the unit rolling over. The cost of altering the front suspension design to make it a double wishbone arrangement thereby eliminating this unsatisfactory behaviour is small. But in the same way that the manufacturers refuse to alter other design aspects of these vehicles to make them safer, there is no sign that they will alter this aspect of the design

  10. Scott Felladore

    Wow, what a terrible article. ATV’s should never be on the road expect to cross when connecting trail sections. This article does not address the fact that public land needs to be opened for ATV use. Most states collect sales tax and then charge for registration but offer no place to ride. There is enough open space for ALL those that are hard working tax payers. Off road riding does much less damage to the environment than all the land that is cleared for the houses you live in, the golf courses you play on and the Walmarts and shopping centers you go to!!! Plus, where are these parents that let there kids ride these machines??

  11. William Slusher

    Ach. Make that: PARENTS, not patents.

  12. William Slusher

    ATTENTION PATENTS: It is YOUR job, not that of the ATV industry nor of legislators to keep underage, under qualified kids off roads and machines they are not safe to operate.

    In Washington state (your article misleadingly ignores), an ATV rider on a public highway must have the same driver’s license any car driver must have.

    A growing generation of boomers increasingly depend on our ATVs to farm, work, sport, and access our beautiful public lands. We should not be penalized for the deaths of kids on ATVs which deaths result not from the ATVs but from irresponsible parents failing to do their jobs.

  13. Vicki

    Just because people WANT something does not mean it’s logical to give it to them.

  14. Kate Badger

    Will this extended driving potential lead to more illegal access by these destructive machines on public and private lands that are undeveloped/ natural or even pristine?

    Where does parental responsibility to protect their children from harm enter the discussion? If we expect 12 year olds to operate large, powerful fast machines safely – and it is with the wink and nod of a parent that put them on these dangerous vehicles – who is responsible?

    At least, if they will be permitted such extensive access on public roadways, they ought to have license plates and identifiable registration numbers on all sides of the ATV so that those who ride illegally on private lands, can be apprehended, fined and hopefully jailed.

  15. Alan Gregory

    Americans, more every day, forget the simple pleasures of watching the world around them that come with walking,not motoring.

  16. stephen oesch

    Excellent article about a growing safety problems. Shows need to alert city and state policymakers about the adverse safety consequences of adopting laws to permit on-road use of ATVs.

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