The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 12, 2014

White Hall updating ATV ordinance

WHITE HALL — Officials are looking to update the Town of White Hall’s all-terrain vehicles (ATV) ordinance.

After residents complained to council members last month about people riding ATVs on their properties, council looked into passing an ATV ordinance that would help law enforcement officers address the problem.

During Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Guy Ward said they have found that an ATV ordinance is already in place for the town. Ward said the current ordinance can be enforced, but council is going to change the wording of the ordinance.

“This current ordinance was passed when the White Hall Police Department was formed about six years ago,” Ward said.

Ward said one of the items in the ordinance that council is looking to change is the definition of what an ATV is. The current ordinance states that the definition of an ATV means any motor vehicle, 52 inches or less in width, having an unladen weight of 800 pounds or less, traveling on three or more low-pressure tires with a seat designed to be straddled by the rider, designed for or capable of travel over unimproved terrain.

“The state has updated its definition of an ATV and our ordinance doesn’t reflect that,” Ward said.

In 2013 the West Virginia State Code was updated to define an ATV as any motor vehicle, designed for off-highway use and designed to travel on not less than three low-pressure tires, having a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control and intended by the manufacturer to be used by a single operator or by an operator and no more than one passenger.

The state code also defines a utility-terrain vehicle (UTV) as any motor vehicle with four or more low-pressure tires designed for off-highway use having bench or bucket seating for each occupant and a steering wheel for control.

The current White Hall ordinance does not mention UTVs. White Hall Police Chief Geno Guerrieri said when White Hall updates its ordinance, it will mention UTV usage.

“We’re going to be up to code with the state,” he said. “(UTVs) are what people are turning to now instead of the four-wheelers (ATVs).”

Guerrieri said those using an ATV or UTV should always be obeying the law when operating them for the safety of others and themselves. He said they should also use safety equipment such as helmets and seat belts.

“If someone is using them for work purposes and riding sensibly, we’re not going to say anything to them if they’re obeying the law,” Guerrieri said. “If they’re out there flying up and down the road and disobeying the law, then we will write citations.”

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

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