So they vote anyday now. Can you make a call? Send a fax? Send an e-mail?
Here's what to say:
The Honorable (name of your legislator)
Boston, MA 02133
RE: S. 2772, An Act Relative to The Regulation of Snow and Recreation Vehicles
Dear Representative (name),
I am writing to you because I need your help. S. 2772 passed the Senate and is currently in the House of Representativeâ€™s. This bill, went from a one page document called HB 3592 that was in the Transportation Committee for over a year, to being changed to a document that is now over 20 pages long. If enacted into law, this Bill will abolish a wholesome family activity enjoyed by thousands of people in this State. This Bill is a rushed Knee jerk reaction to a very tragic accident. Please consider the following.
We have the support of some of your fellow Representatives, like Smitty Pignatelli who has been invaluable in helping us kill this bill. He acknowledges ORV use as a great form of family recreation and further supports the ATV community stance that age size restrictions and mandated safety education for both children and parents alike is essential to providing safe outdoor ORV opportunities. He has agreed to work with us over the next several months to draft meaningful legislation that will address these issues as well as other related ORV issues. We need your help; I think that if you take the time to understand what this bill will do to not only our family sport, but also to the economy in the Western part of the State, you will undoubtedly vote to kill this bill.
My family regularly engages in the fun and safe activity of ATVing. We ride our ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) together as a family. We belong to many ATV Club through out Massachusetts. Throughout the year, our numerous families meet for weekends of fun filled activities that all revolve around the sport of ATVing. We all know as adults that it is the bonds that we form with our children in their early years that help caring our relationships through the tough teenage years. We believe that through proper education, training and parenting that the sport of ATVâ€™s can be safe for children. For example, we ride our ATVs to a destination and hold a barbecue. Sometimes we ride to a pond so the kids can swim. Sometimes we find a nice fishing hole for our kids.
S. 2772 will end our family activities. The bill is filled with so many draconian measures that it will end family ATVing in Massachusetts.
First, the bill makes it impossible for a parent or guardian to allow their child under 14 to operate an ATV. Essentially, the bill will stop us from enjoying our leisure activity of choice. We enjoy and believe in family ATVing. Because ATVing is a family activity, we have no problem with legislation that requires a child under 14 to be accompanied by an adult or guardian. We agree that unsupervised children on ATVs is a bad idea but to simply ban all kids under 14 from ATVs is going way too far and punishes responsible parents for the mis-deeds of others. Both the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America adopted child ATV guidelines allowing children six years and older to operate appropriately sized ATVs. I suggest that something similar to such guidelines be adopted instead of the proposed draconian measures. Also, I humbly request that all criminal penalties be removed. We are not criminals. Instead, we are mothers and fathers who simply enjoy the outdoors with our children.
Second, the bill makes the broad assumption that ATVs are only used for riding trails, except for some farming activities. This is not true. I use my ATV as a tractor around the yard. For example, in the Winter I plow my driveway and sidewalk, plow my neighborâ€™s driveway (he has Parkinsonâ€™s Disease), haul dirt and bark mulch, move my very heavy log splitter, etc. Some people even cut their grass with their ATVs using an attached ATV mower deck.
The proposed legislation makes it illegal for me to cross the street in order to plow my neighborâ€™s driveway. It would allow crossing a street ONLY at approved and properly marked trail crossings. There is no way I can push my 850-pound adult sized ATV across the street in order to help my neighbor. The legislation assumes that all ATVers are always flying down a trail at some high rate of speed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Third, although my ATV is registered in Massachusetts because my family enjoys so many vast activities as a result of our ATVs, many people do not register them because they simply use the machines for yard work, landscaping chores, or they ride in New Hampshire or Maine. The proposed mandatory registration is not fair for those people.
There are many more issues with this bill than what I have attempted to point out. This bill, under the guise of safety, goes way too far and makes criminals out of law-abiding families. Therefore, I humbly request that you vote against this bill. My family loves our time together with our ATVs. We all look forward to each and every weekend together. Please help us to continue with our chosen family activity. Thank you for your help and I look forward to your reply.
(your address & phone)