Posted on

Disappointed in governor taking away recreation

Vox Pop

Most people were not aware of the changes in law regarding ATV/UTVs.

It is now unlawful for passengers to ride on an ATV/ UTV unless it was designed and manufactured for a passenger.

No aftermarket seats are legal. All the owners of ATV’s that have a bolted on seat for the second passenger is now illegal.

There are limited manufacturers that make two person ATVs.

This does not apply if you are on your own private property. This also does not apply to any first responders, etc. that need to use an ATV/UTV to help someone in an emergency.

2019 Wisconsin Act 183, sections 12 and 25. (2019 Senate Bill 583).

I dug into this and found some very interesting facts.

I contacted the Wisconsin ATV Association as I heard they were pushing the bill. This is correct but please read on.

I asked for the data for accidents for ATV’s that had two riders on them. They gave me a person in the DNR to contact. The person did send me the data. However, there were no statistics that showed if the accidents involved one or two people on an ATV. I contacted the same person and he said they do not record that data.

So there is no data in Wisconsin to support that riding double on an ATV causes accidents.

So why did the law change to specifically restrict two people riding on an ATV?

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ partial veto. Yes, you read that correct. Evers used his partial veto to change the law. Now you naysayers are going to say how do you know that to be true. I have a copy of the letter Evers sent to the senate explaining his changes dated 3/3/2020. Quote: “The safe transportation of passengers, regardless of location, is essential to the prevention of injuries and fatalities associated with all-terrain and utility terrain vehicle use.” (end quote).

One person changed the law but in the letter no where does Evers state any facts or statistics to back his veto up. That’s because there aren’t any statistics for the state of Wisconsin.

I suggested to the person at the DNR to get the aftermarket seats DOT certified so they could become legal. He said it was a good suggestion and would pass it on.

I had to sell my four wheeler as I am not buying a second one and a trailer to haul two and I am not spending $14,000-$20,000 on a UTV or $12,000-15,000 for a two-up ATV. Thank you Democrat Evers for taking my recreation away. Here is another interesting fact in the law change. The UTV max width is now 65 inches. Generally an ATV is around 48 inches wide. As most of you that have ridden on trails, they are not always extremely wide. So now instead of two 48 inch machines meeting, you now have 65 inch machines coming down the trail at each other. Think about that.

For those of you still wanting to ride, be careful on the trails and enjoy yourself. Be careful when you meet these oversized UTVs.— James Hebda, Menomonee, formerly of Dorchester and Colby