At an August 17 meeting, the Moretown Select Board discussed the possibility of allowing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on Class 4 roads in Moretown. According to Vermont statute, “An ATV shall not be operated…on any municipal lands unless opened to ATV travel by the legislative body of the municipality where the land is located.”
ATVs are required to be registered and inspected unless being used solely on private property. Operators must be at least 12 years old and those under 16 years of age must be supervised by someone 18 years old or older who has a valid license. The Vermont ATV Sportsman Association (VASA) contracts with the Fish and Wildlife Department to patrol the VASA trail system.
Moretown Select Board member Callie Streeter said that people are already using ATVs on Class 4 roads. “There are risks either way,” she said, “but people are doing it anyway. Enforcement challenges things, but [the ordinance] adds some protection for those of us who do go out” and regulation could offer an avenue for those who have complaints about noise or safety.
Vermont State Police Lieutenant White and Trooper Todd Stackhouse were present at the meeting. Stackhouse cited an incident in Moretown several years ago where an ATV operator who was not wearing a helmet and had been drinking went off the road and was killed. White said, “Enforcement is the biggest thing” and added that, “Under no circumstances will we [Vermont State Police] pursue ATVs.” White suggested that, if the town were to approve use of ATVs on public roads, that a speed limit be established and that strict helmet requirements be adopted.
At the same meeting, town resident Joyce Manchester also presented the board with potential traffic calming solutions to curb speeds on Moretown roads and make them safer for pedestrians. Measures discussed included adding a mirror to a 100B intersection, adding another radar speed sign, portable signs and building sidewalks from Gallagher Acres to Waterbury. The town may apply for a Bicycle and Pedestrian grant from VTrans in 2022 to fund the that proposed sidewalk project.