Mesa County commissioners are considering allowing all-terrain vehicles on county roads after supporters said it would be a great tourist attraction and provide an economic boost.
Ron Pollard, owner of RV and ATV rental business Funshares in Grand Junction, approached Mesa County commissioners in July. He said there are ways to overcome safety concerns.
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"From a commonsense standpoint, this isn't a safety issue," he said.
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese said commissioners support the proposal.
She said several counties allow all-terrain vehicles on county roads, and they have found it provides different recreational options.
"It's allowed more access to trails, more group tours, and it's a great tourist attraction for communities," Pugliese said. "That's what we are looking for, out-of-the-box ideas that enhance economic development."
A public hearing will be held for citizens to voice concerns or support before the ordinance passes, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/oxpgzbs).
The proposed ordinance says drivers must be at least 18 with a driver's license and carry proof of insurance. Vehicles would have to meet motorcycle minimum requirements for ATVs or passenger car minimum requirements.
Vehicles also would need permits. The proposal says permitting fees would be $200 the first year and $100 each following year.
To be permitted, ATVs and UTVs must meet a long list of specific safety equipment requirements, including an illuminated speedometer, headlamp and tail lamp, stop lamp and reflector, turn signals and a horn.
Vehicle operators will be expected to obey all traffic rules, and ATVs will have a maximum speed limit of 35 mph, UTVs 50 mph.
Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com