Princeton community divided on ATV ordinance

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — The West Virginia senate passed SB 690, which now allows ATV’s and UTV’s on the main streets. Before, they were restricted to trails and back roads.

Some cities, like Princeton, have an ordinance that still makes it illegal.

Tim Gray is the Chief of Princeton Police Department.

“We’ve had an ordinance in place for years that doesn’t allow that. Until we’re told otherwise, the ordinance is going to stand and there will be no ATV riding here in town,” Gray said.

Gray said four wheelers are not made for regular traffic, and Princeton roads do not support ATV’s. That is why he believes it would be unsafe to ever let them on the city streets.

“Well, they aren’t designed for traffic. A vehicle versus the ATV, the vehicle is going to win,” Gray explained.

The ordinance will be discussed at the next public safety meeting with Princeton City Council, which will be on Sept. 8, 2020.

Owner of West Virginia Motorsports, Bryan Halsey, said he is in full support of repealing the ordinance.

“I think it would be great. You can ride to Sonic, you can ride to McDonalds, you can ride to the grocery store. So, I think it would be good,” Halsey said.

Halsey said there is an increase of business since the senate passed the bill.

“It’s actually increased a lot. We are getting calls everyday, scheduling appointments to install the street legal kits,” Halsey said.

But Gray worries it is still unsafe.

“They’re designed for roll overs, not for crashes,” Gray said.

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