NC Drivers may soon cross paths with all-terrain vehicles. -

NC Drivers may soon cross paths with all-terrain vehicles.

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Bill would allow ATVs on public roads. Bill would allow ATVs on public roads.

When the dirt and gravel end, so does the ride for ATV drivers.

But that may soon change in North Carolina. 

House lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a bill Monday that would authorize municipalities and counties to regulate the operation of ATVs on public roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or lower.

Drivers would have to be 15 or older.

“I think it presents a great risk for everyone,” says Hendersonville resident Jonathan Russell, “not only the ones riding the ATVs, but the families in the neighborhoods."

 “I just do not think that is a good idea,” adds Toni Norwood of Fletcher.  “Those need to be in the woods and used for recreational purposes only."

7 On Your Side also contacted local safety advocates and law enforcement, none of whom said they were in favor of the proposal.

While ATV dealers are not opposed to the idea, even they agree there are better options.

“I really think they ought to look at side-by-sides even more though, just because the safety features those come with over the ATVs,” said Tony Gibson who works at 4x4 Country in Hendersonville.

Unlike utility vehicles, ATVs typically do not have turn signals, horns or seatbelts.

Now whether those features will be needed is up for debate, and it could be a bumpy ride to the finish.

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