Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


By CVN Staff 

ATV ordinance returns Tuesday


October 6, 2011

Members of the Haines Borough Assembly will return to the topic of all-terrain vehicles at their meeting Tuesday.

A third public hearing will be held on the proposed ordinance that would allow ATVs on borough streets and roads for operators at least 16 years old who have a valid driver’s license and annual, borough road-use permit. The ordinance includes a speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

Adoption of the ordinance was postponed in July, after police chief Gary Lowe cited "continuing confusion of where you can legally ride" and a "heightened possibility of serious injuries" as two reasons why he opposed such an ordinance.

Resident Jim Shook, who has supported the ordinance at assembly meetings, on Sept. 13 requested another delay, to review suggested changes.

An ATV is defined in the ordinance as "a motor vehicle that has four or more wheels utilizing low-pressure tires" or "two or more plastic-coated or rubberized tracks or treads measuring seventy-five inches or less overall width, having a dry weight of one ton or less, and designed primarily for travel over unimproved terrain."

Chief Lowe said he has advised for ATVs to have a maximum weight of 800 pounds, and for the borough definition to add three-wheelers, to align with state code.

According to a revised version of the ordinance first presented Sept. 13, ATVs "may only be operated on unpaved borough-maintained vehicle ways or areas," and use would be prohibited at the Fort Seward parade grounds and Tlingit Park. Also, ATV operators and riders would be required to "wear a proper fitting DOT-approved helmet and shall have eye protection by means of goggles, glasses, helmet shield or windshield."

Lowe in June told the assembly "one thing that I would absolutely pound my fist and demand is we have to have a helmet requirement."