ATVs do not belong on streets

Published 1:10 am Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dear Editor,

I must express my disappointment. Spring has just barely appeared, and already two of our young people are paying the price of over confidence, which breeds carelessness, resulting in two accidents with four wheelers, both of which resulting in injuries after the four wheeler landed on them. I saw neither of them, so I am drawing conclusions based on my experiences I have observed with the average driver of a ATV.

While I have no 4-wheeler, I have seen them ridden on the roadways over and over, almost always as fast as they would go, and usually ridden by a late teens or very young adult usually a male, right down the middle of the dirt road, leaving it to the motor vehicles to avoid them in the curves and hill tops. Most riders are an accident waiting for the right circumstance to happen. When riding at or beyond their abilities to control the machine when anything goes wrong, is just an accident waiting to happen. On one occasion, I had 4 of them following me out a paved road at the legal speed limit and so close that the handlebars were not visible. Even at the speed I was driving, should I have had to stop quickly, one or more would have wrecked, either into the rear of my vehicle, or in avoiding it.

Riding on the street is illegal, but beyond that, its dangerous, both to the rider, as well as the person who can find themselves trying to avoid an accident with them. Showing respect for the other users of the road by driving in a careful and prudent manner saves many accidents.

Please caution your young drivers, that speed gets the adrenaline flowing, but when things go bad, there is little to no protection for those on the machines, and they are likely to be the one paying the price, and our public streets and roadways are not the place to play.

– Johnny Thacker Sr., Jemison