County considers legalizing off-highway vehicles on certain roads |

County considers legalizing off-highway vehicles on certain roads

Reid Tulley

Grand County is considering making it legal to operate off-highway vehicles on certain county roads.

A public hearing concerning the operation of off-highway vehicles on county roads continued on Tuesday, Aug. 14, during the county commissioners’ meeting. The hearing is scheduled to continue at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11.

The hearing is intended to gather input about whether to make the operation of off highway vehicles, such as ATVs, on county roads legal. And, if so, under what circumstances and where.

Under state law, it is illegal to operate off-highway vehicles on county roads in Colorado. However, the commissioners can choose to pass a resolution that would make it legal in certain parts of Grand County.

Residents of Old Park, a subdivision located about 12 miles northwest of Kremmling off highway 134, submitted a petition with more than 200 signatures in support of making it legal to operate off highway vehicles on county roads located in the subdivision.

“It is much more healthy for kids than being glued to video games all day,” said Karolyn Peterson, a resident and property owner in Old Park.

Old Park residents voiced concerns about signs that were posted in the county, which state it is illegal to operate off highway vehicles on county roads.

“We want to comply with rules and regulations,” said Larry Bearly, an old Park land owner and part time resident. “With Grand County being 68 percent public lands, we feel we should support this.”

Bearly also conveyed that the use of ATVs in particular is not purely recreational and that he and others use off highway vehicles for numerous tasks around their properties.

While it has always been illegal to operate off highway-vehicles on county roads, the law was rarely enforced until recent complaints from some residents prompted the Grand County Sheriff’s Office to post signs around Old Park and elsewhere.

Another concern that was brought up during the meeting was what restrictions would be put in place in regards to the age requirement for operators of off highway vehicles.

Some public comments were in support of making it legal for a person age 10 to operate an ATV with adult supervision.

Commissioner Newberry expressed concerns about the age 10 proposal saying “a 10-year-old driving up county roads could be a dangerous situation.”

Other Colorado counties have passed similar laws with differing age requirements.

The age requirement and other issues will be discussed further on Sept. 11.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and to voice their opinions about the subject as well as to submit requests for other roads in the county that could be designated as off highway vehicle routes.

Lurline Underbrink Curran, the county manager, plans to create a map to present the board of commissioners with the help of Sheriff Rod Johnson, which will identify county roads that could be designated as possible off-highway vehicle routes.

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