PETERSBURG, Alaska — An Alaska all-terrain vehicle owner is trying to generate momentum for his effort to eliminate a ban on driving ATVs around the Panhandle community of Petersburg.

Richard Burke said he gets frustrated looking out the window at his all-terrain vehicle that he paid $7,000 for, knowing he can’t ride it anywhere in town.

So he gathered signatures to put his proposal on the city’s October ballot.

Petersburg residents on Oct. 3 will decide whether to allow ATVs and other off-road vehicles to be driven on low-speed streets, KFSK-FM reported (http://bit.ly/2yJ0MYP ).

Opponents are concerned with the safety of ATVs sharing roads with vehicles, saying it’s difficult for larger vehicles to see them. Backers said eliminating the ban would help alleviate downtown parking problems and make it easier to get around Petersburg.

The law would include off-highway vehicles but not snow machines. On-street use would remain banned on higher-speed, state-owned roads except to cross them.

ATV drivers would have to have a driver’s license, proof of insurance and either proof of completing an online safety course or a motorcycle license. A two-year registration sticker would be sold by the borough for $100. Fines would be issued for violations.

ATVs would also have to have flags placed on them to make it easier for drivers to see them.

If the local measure is approved, drivers will still have to comply with state law on ATV use, Chief of Police Kelly Swihart said.


Information from: KFSK-FM, http://www.alaska.net/~kfsk/

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