ATVs still taboo on dirt roads

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By Claude Lewis

BRONSON - Four-wheelin' on ATVs is a popular weekend activity for families in Levy County, but the County Commissioners believe such activity should only take place on private property or in designated areas.

That position was reaffirmed Tuesday at the Board of County Commissioners meeting, as resident Tina Buening's request to legalize operating four-wheelers on public unpaved roads was shot down.

Liability was cited as a key reason to keep ATVs off public roads.

Not only could county residents face possible injuries, but visions of four-wheelers from all over the state would not only disturb residents, but put even a heavier burden on already taxed law enforcement.

One resident said there were 21 pages of ATV-related incidents reported to the sheriff's department since January.

Buening said that many four-wheel riders are law-abiding citizens who would adhere to speed limits and other safety measures.

But in the end, the fears of allowing ATVs on unpaved roads weighed heavy on commissioners' minds.

State law leaves it up to each county to decide if ATVs can be operated on dirt roads during daylight hours with a 35 mph speed limit. Levy opted out.