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 ATV owner fee would allow access to trails

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Joined : 2008-01-15
Posts : 10992
Age : 54
Location : Knoxville, TN

PostSubject: ATV owner fee would allow access to trails   Mon May 17, 2010 4:36 am

NASHVILLE - Under newly unveiled legislation, owners of all-terrain vehicles willing to pay a $11.25 state fee and perhaps more to local governments would have access to a network of "adventure tourism" trails and nearby highways where they are now forbidden to roam.

State Reps. Les Winningham, D-Huntsville, and Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, said the plan was developed by a group of interested parties, ranging from ATV enthusiasts to government officials, with the goal of generating tourism spending in rural Tennessee.
"This is a broad effort by a lot of people to come up with a bill to address ATV issues and how we could develop it into a tourism business in Tennessee," said Winningham in presenting the proposal to the House Transportation Committee, which approved it with only one dissenting vote.

The legislation was adopted as an amendment completely rewriting a bill - HB1324 - by Winningham that, as originally drafted, dealt with traffic cameras.

The measure creates a license plate for ATVs that will cost $11.25. Those who buy one will have access to the "adventure" trails, which will be set up on properties owned or leased by the state or local governments. Out-of-state residents could purchase a temporary weekend permit for $4.

Part of the money collected - $5 of each $11.25 fee and $2.50 for each $4 out-of-state permit - would go into a new dedicated fund, overseen by the Department of Environment and Conservation, and used to make grants and loans to local governments to develop trails.

The rest of the money would be divided among the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, children's hospitals around the state and the Tennessee chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Local government could charge an additional fee of up to $25 for access to ATV trails. Each city or county wishing to participate in the program would have to adopt an ordinance opting into the system.

Current law prohibits operation of ATVs on public highways. But the legislation would allow those with the special tags or permits to travel on roads for five miles in either direction of a trailhead to obtain food, gas or lodging, according to Winningham.
ATV drivers would have a 25-mph speed limit and otherwise would have to abide by the rules that apply to motorcycle riders, including a requirement they wear helmets and carry liability insurance. In some cases, the rules are more restrictive, Shipley said.
In the committee meeting, much of the discussion involved legislator concerns that all ATV owners would have to pay the fee. Shipley and Winningham assured them that is not the case and only those who want access to the planned trail system will need to buy a tag.

Tom Humphrey may be reached at 615-242-7782.

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Joined : 2008-06-09
Posts : 1339
Age : 48
Location : Columbia, TN

PostSubject: Re: ATV owner fee would allow access to trails   Mon May 17, 2010 12:04 pm

I think this is a good idea....I hope it moves forward.
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Joined : 2008-02-04
Posts : 563
Age : 44
Location : K-TOWN-TN

PostSubject: Re: ATV owner fee would allow access to trails   Mon May 17, 2010 1:17 pm

Sounds a lot like the system Utah uses which has been hugely successful in helping the rural communities. It would be a great move in my opinion. I hope they do something with it.
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V.I.P Member

Joined : 2008-01-28
Posts : 1637
Age : 42
Location : Tullahoma, TN. Was Fayetteville, never again

PostSubject: Re: ATV owner fee would allow access to trails   Mon May 17, 2010 8:31 pm

If it allows riding to trails i cannot currently ride and allows legal riding of roads( which you pay for with the gas taxes you pay each time you fill up your atv). I'm all for it.

But as long as the money generated actually goes to where they say it will go and not into some republicrat/Politicians pockets or into another project somewhere not related to the original purpose.
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