Emery Town Adopts ATV Ordinance
|This plaque will be installed on Veterans Day in Emery.|
Emery Town has been considering an ATV ordinance for several months and during the Oct. 12 meeting, the council adopted an ordinance for the town. Now, the residents will be responsible for making themselves aware of the ordinance and educating the young people of the rules of the road.
Mayor Michael Williams suggested the need for a class to teach the young ATVers in Emery about safety awareness. The time and place for the instruction will be set in the near future.
The ordinance reads: Whereas, on Oct. 12, 2004, the town council met in regular session to consider, among other things, passing an ordinance for the regulation of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) use in the town limits.
Whereas, after careful consideration , the Council has determined that it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Emery Town to adopt an ordinance with respect to OHV use.
Now, therefore, be it ordained by the Emery Town Council that the following be adopted as an ordinance of Emery Town.
Traffic code adopted by reference:
A. Except insofar as the application thereof is clearly impractical or inappropriate, in view of the context of purposes or penalty as provide all of the definitions, requirements, regulations, prohibitions, provisions and sections of the Utah Traffic Code (title 41) , as amended, are hereby adopted by Emery Town.
B. Adoption of Off Highway Vehicle Act, Chapter 22 of title 41, of the Utah Code Annotated 1953, as it applies to off highway vehicles shall constitute the town ordinance.
Designation of OHV routes.
A. All streets within the town of Emery are designated as permissible routes for the use of OHVs.
B. The use of above designated routes by OHVs shall be exclusively for the purpose of accessing OHV trails or roadways.
This ordinance, assigned Ordinance No. 10-12-04, shall take effect immediately.
Many residents were present to state their opinions concerning the ordinance. One citizen stated his opposition to opening all roads in Emery. It was his opinion that only certain streets should be open. The discussion concluded that every resident has the right to access off highway trails and roads and therefore all Emery roads should be open.
Another concern by the resident was that under Utah law, children ages 8-15 can operate an OHV. He stated that many young people are not aware of the road signs and regulations. Mayor Williams again stressed the need to hold educational sessions to make the young people aware of the rules of the roads.
Still another resident stated that no one has been hurt so far. His question was "What does it hurt to let the kids ride on the roads?" Mayor Williams said the point of this ordinance is to educate the public and prevent the possibly of anyone getting injured.
Mayor Williams also stated that now the ordinance is in force, it is the responsibility of parents to educate their own children, and it is the responsibility of all the residents of Emery to notify the sheriff's office if anyone is seen in violation of the ordinance. This ordinance is for everyone's health and safety.
Councilman Don Riddle stated that parents should take some responsibility to teach their children about the dangers of the roads. "A person has no business on a machine if they disregard street signs," he said.
Prior to the adoption of the ordinance, several changes were discussed. One of the changes was the need to restrict the number of riders on an ATV. Many citizens felt that more than two people on a machine was a very dangerous situation. Others felt that underage drivers should be in direct supervision of the parents. Councilperson Glenys Sitterud requested that the ordinance be passed as it stands and any needed changes can be made later. The council was of the general opinion that it is the responsibility and obligation of the residents of Emery to report and document violations of the ordinance.
Concerning another issue facing Emery Town, Mayor Williams explained that Emery Town charges less than any other town for building permits. He stated that the cost of providing a building inspector is many times more than is recouped by the county from the building permit revenue.
"As of Jan. 1, 2005, the county will be forced to cease providing a building inspector if the cities and towns in Emery County do not raise the cost of building permits. If each town adopts the suggested scale from the International Building Organization and the county commissioners, the building inspector will be able to remain. I see no other way than to agree to their suggestion," said Mayor Williams. The council approved to accept the IBO fee structure.
Councilman Eric Anderson informed the council that a $15,000 grant is available from the Emery Recreation District. The application must be filled out and returned before November.
Councilperson Sitterud announced that on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, the town will host a ceremony to install the plaque with the Emery Veterans names.