- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Bethel officials are set to reconsider their request for police to step up enforcement of laws banning all-terrain vehicles on city roadways.

The City Council will discuss the matter at a meeting Tuesday following concerns from residents that police have been handing out too many tickets, KYUK-AM reported (https://bit.ly/2e1IU5A).

The meeting comes two weeks after the council directed police Chief Andre Achee to increase enforcement of laws prohibiting the use of four-wheelers. Some council members had cited safety concerns, while others argued that city transit could take the place of ATVs.

Those against the increased enforcement, including Mayor Rick Robb, said it would have a negative impact on people who rely on ATVs to get into town when the river freezes.

“It’s gonna have adverse effects to the way of life out here for many people, which is using off-road vehicles, which is traveling. Traveling over the tundra, over the river in the winters because it will inhibit our abilities to start the journey in town,” Robb said at the Sept. 27 meeting.

Councilors will consider a proposal from Robb concerning the issue at their meeting.

Councilman Leif Albertson voted in support of the crackdown on those violating ATV laws, but he has acknowledged that the change has caught some residents off guard.

“What concerns me is the situation we’re in now where a lot of folks maybe got blindsided a little bit,” Albertson said.

One of those people is Ira Flowers, who recently received a $50 ticket for riding his ATV while on his way to get groceries.

“I was just traveling on the side of the far right edge of the road,” Flowers said.


Information from: KYUK-AM, https://www.kyuk.org

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