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Oregon Dunes

Discussion in 'Pacific Region' started by ntsqd, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

    Nov 28, 2002
    Likes Received:
    So. CA
    Got this of an ACVW's forum. Truth or fiction?

    ATV age limits get riders revved up
    By Winston Ross
    The Register-Guard
    Published: Wednesday, February 7, 2007

    WINCHESTER BAY - Simi Hoover has barely had a moment to wrap her mind around
    proposed restrictions on the use of all-terrain vehicles by children when a
    better advocate for her position pulls up.

    It's her 12-year-old son, A.J., wearing a yellow T-shirt that reads "Do the
    dunes" and riding a 400cc Honda EX four-wheel ATV, or "quad."

    It's people such as A.J. whom state Senate Bill 49 would affect directly.
    The measure would restrict 12- to 15-year-olds to machines with 90cc engines
    - which lack the power to climb many hills in the Oregon Dunes National
    Recreation Area.

    And, under the bill, riders younger than 12 would be banned altogether - a
    prospect that makes the bushy-haired boy, who has been riding ATVs for five
    years, shudder.

    "We think it's a mistake," said Simi Hoover, who owns Dune Country ATV
    Rental in Winchester Bay, just outside the dunes recreation area and a hot
    spot for off-road vehicle enthusiasts. "My son outgrew the 90ccs four years

    advertisement A.J.'s first ATV was a 50cc toy he acquired at age 8. After
    Simi got tired of hearing "Push me, mom! Push me!" the boy graduated to a
    90cc. The next year it was 220ccs and at age 11, A.J. jumped to 400ccs. His
    current machine has a top speed of 55 mph.

    If SB 49 had passed five years ago, "I'd probably stop riding," A.J. forces
    himself to say.

    So would countless other youngsters, his mother said, which would put a
    chill on a business increasingly bolstered by families who have found a
    high-powered activity children and parents both enjoy.

    That sentiment is clogging the e-mail inboxes of the bill's co-sponsors,
    Sens. Alan Bates, D-Ashland, and Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin. Of the hundreds
    of e-mails Devlin's legislative aide Anna Haley has read since the bill was
    introduced a few weeks ago, about 75 percent are against the idea.

    The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce also opposes the bill, which it says is
    overly restrictive and will hurt the south coast economy. Several lawmakers
    from the Oregon Coast have said they won't vote for SB 49 as it reads now.

    Haley said the sponsors probably will amend the bill to get it passed. The
    original bill was the brainstorm of Safe Kids of Oregon, the state chapter
    of the nonprofit Safe Kids National, a group that promotes child safety
    through regulations.

    Advocates for tougher legislation said ATV deaths have risen steadily as the
    number of riders has ballooned. They say 8-year-olds are too young to be
    operating such machinery.

    "Almost every child that has died in Oregon was wearing proper safety gear,"
    Haley said. "They're still dying."

    Oregon's all-terrain vehicle law only requires children under age 18 to wear
    a helmet, Haley said. Fourteen states regulate children's use of all-terrain
    vehicles, with age restrictions from 10 to 14.

    It's not just injured children and their families who are affected,
    taxpayers also are asked to help foot the bills, said Adrienne Greene, state
    coordinator for Safe Kids Oregon.

    Adults and children injured in ATV-related accidents in Oregon racked up $50
    million in medical bills between 2000 and 2005, Greene said. Government
    programs paid for more than $9 million of that.

    Greene argues that children under age 16 shouldn't ride ATVs at all, for the
    same reasons they can't drive cars by themselves.

    "Cars weigh a lot and go

    (page 2 of 2)
    really fast," Greene said. "They require a complex set of skills that come
    with cognitive maturity. We don't let kids in Oregon under the age of 16
    drive a Jet Ski for the same reason. There's a learning period."

    But knowing the stiff opposition SB 49 faces, Haley said it's likely that
    amendments will be introduced to mirror recommendations of the ATV lobbying
    group, the Special Vehicle Institute of America. The institute recommends
    that 6- to 12-year-olds only be allowed to ride ATVs under 70ccs and that
    12- to 16-year-olds ride ATVs under 90ccs.

    advertisement That still wouldn't sit well with the Hoovers, although they
    follow those guidelines for the quads they rent to tourists.

    A.J.'s father, Greg Hoover, said a 90cc ATV is too small for many
    12-year-olds, and 12-year-olds keep getting bigger and bigger.

    "Their knees are up to their arms" on a small ATV, Hoover said. "That's
    unsafe, too."

    A better law would be to require all-terrain vehicle riders of all ages to
    take a safety course, which A.J. has done and which would prevent many
    injuries, Simi Hoover said.

    That proposal is in the works in the House, along with two others generated
    by the state Department of Transpor- tation that would require safety
    training for all Class I and Class III vehicle operators on public land in
    Oregon, require helmets on such vehicles for all adults, and restrict
    transport of more than one person to vehicles specifically designed for

    Simi Hoover said limiting vehicles' power by age will just mean kids don't
    get a chance to learn to use the bigger quads before they're given free

    "I think there are a lot of crazy 20-year-olds out there," she said, "who
    don't get the opportunity to ride."

    In five years of riding, A.J. is proud to announce, "I've never been to the
    Reedsport hospital," although, he added, "I've sprained my wrists; lots of
    bruises, and I have a second-degree burn on my leg."

    Ask A.J. how he got the burn and he'll tell you it's from a hot day when he
    decided to wear shorts - a no-no on an ATV, where searing tailpipes are just
    a brush away from vulnerable flesh. Ask his mother, and she just shakes her

    "Stupidity," she said, with a chuckle.

    2BLAZERS 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Oct 12, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Very true. Its been on the news up here lately. The CBS channel 6 KOIN did a pretty good report on it. Basically you have people who want to ban everything, guns, SUVs, ATVs, etc.. because they don't like them. They keep talking about how such-and-such people died. But they use stats over 20 years and include everyone in the state. There are millions of riders in this state. At this rate they should ban, walking, bikes, skateboarding. To ban everyone under 12 is what most people are fighting along with the proposal to limit 15 years old to under 90cc, completely stupid. I know some big 12 year olds who ride. Most of the deaths are young kids riding unsupervised, no helmets, and riding 500cc. Which is wrong but these proposals are overkill.
  3. IGOR

    IGOR 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    May 16, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Damascus, OR
  4. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

    Oct 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Bothell, WA
    Dang, as another former Coos Bayer, this would suck. I was riding my built-to-the-balls 200X three wheeler out there just about every afternoon in high school. I started riding 3 wheelers when they introduced the ATC 70 back in the early 70's & I had my first two wheeler when I was 6. I'd love for my son to be able to ride on the dunes when we go down to Coos Bay to visit my parents.

    Something like this will definately hurt the economy on the Oregon Coast. Many of the towns, like Winchester Bay, rely on the income generated by summer activites on the sand dunes.
  5. W7NB

    W7NB 1/2 ton status

    Nov 9, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Springtucky, OR
    Well, we elected them..

    And now we deal with what they have to dish out. Liberals have to ban everything thats bad FOR OTHER PEOPLE. They also had a hearing today on a bill that would ban the use of cell phones AND YOUR CB AND HAM RADIOS in your car unless they have a hands free kit. Now I've never seen a CB or ham radio with a hands free kit, so I guess we go back to handsignals.

    Think before you vote in 2 years folks. This is what we asked for.

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