Ripping and roaring through the woods on a 110 atv is a fantastic, exhilarating experience. As a result, the popularity of atving has grown exponentially over the years. To keep up with the trend, legislators utilize the excitement generated by the activity as a source of income to fund maintenance projects and other much needed programs.
For example, in 2012 the state of Maine raised about $754 million from atving. This money was used on atv trail upkeep and other related projects that make it possible for riders to safely cruise around.
But despite this pleasant arrangement between drivers and legislators, riding gas powered four wheelers and other atv varieties may be coming to an end in Maine.
Doing Too Much Damage
Large off-road vehicles are being used more frequently on trails intended for small atvs or atv 110ccs. As a result, areas designed to accommodate kids four wheelers and mini quad 49ccs are being torn up beyond use.
According to Ethan Bessey, owner of a company that allows atv riding on their property, “Our land is working forestland and 99 percent of the people get it. But there have been instances where people go in and wreck it – and it costs tens of thousands of dollars to repair.”
To address this pressing issue, legislators in Maine are being forced to take action.
Possible Financial Solutions
Legislators are considering spending $2 million on widening trails as a possible solution. If pursued, after the initial investment is paid for, the current $200 per mile maintenance fee would need to be increased to $600. To pay for these expenses without changing current regulations, atv registration would need to be almost doubled.
Riders hoping to avoid excessive annual atving fees suggested the state create atv clubs and charge an annual membership fee of $20.
If this method works as intended, the state would be able to generate the cash needed to cover property damage expenses without having to raise registration fees or ban certain types of 50cc gas powered four wheelers.
Asking atv enthusiasts to pay club dues or more for registration may sound acceptable to those using big beefy 100cc quads. However, when you are not responsible for the excessive damages caused by large atvers, both solutions are downright rude, especially considering registration fees in Maine started at $12 and are now $45.
Taking this into consideration, Maine may opt to ban atvs over 2,000 lbs or wider than 65-inches. Although this seems like a promising solution, constant monitoring would be needed to ensure large 125cc 4 wheelers stay off the trails, which can get pretty expensive.
Nevertheless, if nothing is done, trails will be shut down due to land owner complaints and safety issues. If this happens, do not let that stop you from the thrill of riding. Charleston, South Carolina has loads of viable trails that are perfect to ride raptor 125s and 110cc quads on.