Council approves third reading of ATV ordinance
Before the Washington City Council approved an ordinance regarding all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use in the City of Washington, tragic incidents that happened recently in Iowa were discussed.
On Monday, an ATV reportedly crashed into a creek. Two 9-year-old boys suffered fatal injuries in the crash. On Aug. 2, four juveniles were killed as the result of an accident between an ATV and a truck near Epworth. The victims in the accident were all 14 years old.
“This is not an ordinance that says people can just drive an ATV like a car,” Hinson said. “This is just an ordinance saying if someone wants to access the county for recreational purposes, you can legally do that.”
He said the idea is to drive an ATV for a brief distance through the city and into the county to hook up with a recreational area. The ordinance doesn’t allow ATV use for recreational purposes in town.
Hinson said there wasn’t much discussion. He said that after two previous readings of the ordinance, the council members were all in agreement with the items on the ordinance. He said the only reason the city had considered changes was due to the county’s recent approval of an ATV ordinance.
The ATV ordinance also identifies areas in town that are off-limits, Hinson said. ATVs are not allowed on state highways. Several other routes ban ATV use as well.
The city does not require a separate permit to drive in town, but a county permit is required. Hinson said that one of the main differences between the accidents and what is being done in Washington is that people without a driver’s license won’t be allowed to use ATVs.
Before the ordinance, ATV usage in town was prohibited except for snow removal.