Off Road Vehicle rule hearing, April 22

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Beth Gohs

Staff Writer

The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing about the proposed Off Road Vehicle Ordinance at 7 p.m. on Wednesday April 22, located in the commissioner’s room of the county building.
The proposed ordinance would allow off road vehicles to ride on the far right of county primary and local roads and prohibit off road vehicles to ride on forest roads or trails.
“We are a country of laws and let people know what they can and can’t do and make everybody safe so they can have a good time, be safe and get from point A to point B. It has to be structured,” said Charlevoix County Commissioner George T. Lasater (R-District 1).
The ordinance also includes the minimum age to operate an off road vehicle to be 12 years old and a three-wheeled vehicle is 16 years old. Appropriate safety gear is required; as well as headlights, tail lights, break lights and an approved muffler. The vehicle must be registered and the operator must have a license.
One-half of the money received from fines will be used for signs and roads involving the off road vehicles and the other half will go to the sheriff’s office for off road vehicle violation training.
“They (police officers) have to know how to operate the (vehicles) and know the conditions,” Lasater said. “How fast they can go, know what the law is. They have to abide by the state highway laws to make sure they are familiar with that.”