4-wheelers are not toys

Published 7:26 pm Monday, June 8, 2009

Call them four-wheelers. Call them all-terrain vehicles. Regardless of the name, these vehicles are prevalent throughout Chilton County — and they should be treated with respect.

You might think the most complaints regarding ATVs are about people operating them on public roads, which is illegal. But the problem goes way beyond that.

Violations include speeding, driving without proper protective gear, having too many people on a vehicle at one time, damaging roadways, or allowing underage children to operate the vehicles.

Our law enforcement officers have to spend way too much time on these cases. Most of the property damage, injuries and fatalities that result from ATV crashes are preventable because they are often caused by misuse.

There needs to be a more concerted effort to provide training to children who are old enough to operate ATVs. Parents should not allow their children to drive these vehicles on the streets, not just because it is against the law but also because it’s dangerous.

ATVs should be treated as serious vehicles, not toys.