Ongoing discussions about the recent proposal to issue ATV permits prompted several county officials to weigh in on the subject.


Ongoing discussions about the recent proposal to issue ATV permits prompted several county officials to weigh in on the subject.

 

Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp sought opinions on the all-terrain-vehicle permit proposal from other officials during their monthly meeting Thursday.

 

Prompted by a recent request from two residents who advocated the county begin issuing permits for ATVs, the Phelps County Commission undertook consideration of their proposal last week.

 

The residents claimed they could not legally ride their ATVs on accessible U.S. Forest Service roads in Phelps County without the permits.

 

Their claim was substantiated by representatives of the Forest Service, who, on Tuesday, said ATV riders were required to obtain county permits to navigate accessible Forest Service roads.

 

Sheriff Rick Lisenbe expressed concern about issuing permits, which would, essentially,  legalize ATV traffic on all county roads.

 

“My concern is for the safety of ATV and other vehicle drivers using the same roads,” Lisenbe said. “During the summer months we get a lot of calls complaining about ATVs on county roads.”

 

Specifically, Lisenbe said, some ATV owners illegally operate their vehicles on paved roads with ATV tires rated for off-road use only. Also, Lisenbe said, many ATV drivers do not wear helmets.

 

Offering to research accident statistics involving ATV drivers, Lisenbe said he would provide the information to the commission Tuesday.

 

County Assessor Kevin Rasmusin suggested that, should the commission decide to issue ATV permits, the county should require a personal-property tax receipt.

 

Verkamp said Missouri statutes also require owners to title and register their ATVs, in addition to maintaining financial responsibility, a requirement that usually entails providing proof of insurance.

 

“It’s not something we’re going to jump into without investigating it some more,” Verkamp said.