Strong majority support allowing ATVs on public roads - 1385 participants, 2516 responses

Jun 22, 2016

New Hampshire, like most states, allows local counties and municipalities to decide whether parts of their public road systems should be opened to use by ATVs. In most cases, these are specific sections of roadways used as crossings, trail connectors, or to provide access from trails to food, lodging, and other amenities. However, concerns have been raised over potential safety implications of using ATVs on paved roads. On June 22, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should ATVs be allowed on public roads in NH?”

“Should ATVs be allowed on public roads in NH?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 92% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 8% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 2,516 responses from 1,385 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A strong majority, at 84% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of allowing ATVs on some public roads.

  • “As long as they don't impede the flow of traffic and they are operating safely, pass inspection and are licensed.”
  • “On designated roads in towns that choose to allow them, with safety and licensing requirements in place. There are places that could use the boost in their economy. I do not want to see them driving on the highway or in congested cities.”
  • “If you can ride a bike, you should be able to ride an ATV. I see no difference.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 16%, opposed allowing ATVs on public roads.

  • “We have enough problems on the roads. We don’t need these things.”
  • “They’re for trail use only. They’d be in the way of motorists.”
  • “If they’re using the same trails as the snowmobiles do there are very few locations where traveling down a road is necessary. If it's allowed I can see accidents happening, and not with a very good outcome for those on a ATV.”

Other: As noted above, 8% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Conditions of road-worthiness: “How about inspection? Tires? Blinkers? License plates?”
  • Current use of ATVs on roads: “They already drive them across roads and highways to go from one side to another.”
  • Broader implications of allowing ATV use: “What about snow machines, 8 wheelers and off-road dirt bikes? …do it for four wheelers and you have to do it for all.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think NH should allow ATVs on public roads? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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