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WV State Police: ATV violations common in McDowell, Mercer

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PRINCETON, WV (AP) — West Virginia State Police say improper usage of all-terrain vehicles is common in McDowell and Mercer counties, and many violators claim they are unaware of ATV restrictions.

Residents in McDowell County use their ATVs to go to the grocery store or the post office. But they ride on roads where ATVs aren't permitted for general use, said Cpl. C.K. Morton with the Welch detachment.

"They don't realize the law allowing ATVs to operate on certain roads was intended to allow people to access gas stations or trailheads, not for people to drive ATVs on the road so they can run errands." Morton told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Complaints about improper ATV usage are widespread in Mercer County, particularly in neighborhoods, said Sgt. M.S. Haynes with the Princeton detachment.

"It is a frequent problem, especially in the summer time and on the weekends. To me, it seems improper use is more of a problem among local residents rather than visitors. The complaints mainly come from ATVs being used in roads around neighborhoods or riding them too fast. A seven or eight-year-old speeding down a road on an ATV will draw a lot of attention," Haynes told the newspaper.

Haynes said ATV operators must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver's license.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press