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Town continues ATV ordinance discussion

Lakeview’s Town Council continued discussions of a proposed ordinance that would govern the operation of all-terrain vehicles on the Town’s streets during a Tuesday, Feb. 25, work session.

The primary focus of the draft ordinance presented before the Town at the meeting was state law verbiage pertaining to ATV vehicles and legal highway crossings.

As per state law, ATV vehicles must cross at a distance of more than 100 feet of a state highway intersection, Town Attorney John Bogardus said during the meeting.

The ambiguity of this language was questioned and discussed by those present, as it was unknown whether the intersection segment referred to any roads intersecting a state highway, or whether it referenced an intersection with another state highway.

Town Mgr. Ray Simms cited Hwy 395 as a hypothetical scenario, with the language, depending on how it happened to be interpreted, possibly referencing a crossing near Industrial Lane or its junction with Hwy 140.

Town of Lakeview Police Chief Jeff Kamp said that the Oregon State Police, as an enforcing agency, needs to be involved with the interpretation of this law.

A local advocate of the ordinance, Rob Thornton, said that operators could simply push their machines across the roadway in an effort to maintain legality.

Simms said that congestion of crossing traffic would seemingly be preferred at areas where congestion is expected, citing jaywalking versus the use of crosswalks as an example.

Brief discussion took place on the potential for local ATV-centered events.  Chief Kamp noted that these types of events would necessitate prior planning and coordination with local law enforcement, similar to practices currently in place for twice-yearly parade events in the downtown area.

Proposed signage for ATV vehicle use are proposed for placement at the Town’s entrances, which would outline basic rules, age limits and speed for these vehicles, said Wade Bryant, an ATV safety advisor council member with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The Town submitted the draft document to Bogardus for minor edits and will likely be presented for final approval at its Tuesday, March 11, meeting.

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