Dear Editor:

Is it just me, or do other locals notice the recent respite from the annoyance of the ubiquitous ATV and their associated noise? It’s just too darn cold out. How nice to be occupying your home / yard / public sidewalk and not be assaulted by the incessant, ear splitting, whining noise emitted from these not-made-for-highway-use recreational vehicles the Utah State Legislature assured we had to sell our souls to; except of course in Salt Lake County, where some of them probably live. If the legislature thinks it’s in the interest of public safety to reduce the legal BAC limit for a DUI from .08 to .05, why do they think the public will be safe dicing with traffic in a non-passively retrained, plastic doored off road vehicle you need eye and hearing protection to drive?

I mean really, even the ATV manufacturers have stated that they do not recommend them for street use. From the Polaris RZR Owner’s Manual: “Operating this vehicle on public streets, roads or highways could result in a collision with another vehicle. Never operate this vehicle on any public street, road or highway, including dirt and gravel roads (unless designated for off-highway use)”.

I’m guessing here, but it feels like every ATV sold in Utah, and not to mention the myriad of units available via the local rental fleet, finds their way running through our once-upon-a-time-ago quiet streets. When it’s warm enough, we’re inundated folks. Ever go to Grand Junction Main Street and notice how blissful the absence of their noise is? Ask someone you encounter who is driving one around: “Do those things run around in your neighborhood?” See how many times you hear “no.”

I’m not saying ATV’s should be outlawed and that all owners /operators are thoughtless or callous. You can’t deny that they are fun. But can’t they be limited to the trails, as the manufacturers intended? Many were brought here on a trailer – can’t they stay on the trailer when going to the trailhead? Go out and enjoy our public lands, but can we have our town back please?

Also, please keep in mind that as of a year ago, there are about 40% more overnight accommodations entitled for development, soon to be filled up with thrill-seeking tourists running these off road (by definition), “recreational” vehicles through our community.


Jim Dresslar