The City of Whitehorse has released the results of a survey on how it ought to regulate all-terrain vehicles.
Most of the approximately 230 respondents supported helmet requirements, limiting ATV use in environmentally-sensitive areas and improving trail signage.
This information will help a task force prepare recommendations for new ATV bylaw.
“We’re not hanging our hat on this at all. But it does tell us some things about some issues,” said David Pruden, manager of bylaw services.
Eighty five per cent of respondents agree that ATV users should wear helmets.
Seventy two per cent agree that environmentally-sensitive areas identified in the official community plan should be out of bounds for riders, except for existing motorized trails.
Three-quarters of respondents agree that ATVs should be allowed on roads while travelling between home and trailhead.
Fifty nine per cent agree there needs to be greater enforcement of ATV laws.
Fifty eight per cent agree that riders should have a special permit, similar to a driver’s licence, to operate within city limits.
If such a permit were introduced, most respondents want to see funds collected from the system put towards ATV safety and education.
Fifty five per cent of respondents reported having a negative experience on Whitehorse’s trails with another user.
The study wasn’t a randomized poll so it’s not statistically valid. “People interested enough to fill out this survey, this is their views,” said Pruden.
Fifty two per cent of respondents had driven an ATV in the past year. That suggests the answers received by the city haven’t been dominated by a single interest group, said Pruden.
The task force’s recommendations are to be complete by March. City council is expected to receive a draft bylaw by June.
The city received only four responses from residents younger than 24. It received 101 responses from residents between 25 and 44, 106 responses from residents between 45 and 64 and 16 responses from residents 65 and older.
“I would have liked to see more interest in younger riders,” said Pruden.
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