Its awfully difficult to find reasons to cheer when local government starts looking for reason to pass new regulations.
But the in the case of Columbia Countys plans to crack down on off-road vehicles, the effort is long overdue.
Evidentally, some off-roaders view access to public property - particularly, roadside rights-of-way - as a right. Too bad. That land in virtually all cases was purchased with taxpayer dollars, and taxpayers dollars build and maintain the roads that run along them.
We spend millions of dollars on roads and creating the rights of way, and these people just come by and destroy them, says County Commissioner Tom Mercer.
It isnt just roadsides that are being damaged by inconsiderate off-roaders. Georgia Sierra Club President Sam Booher, a Martinez resident, says theres an effort locally and around the state to keep four-wheelers and other potentially destructive vehicles out of sensitive areas, particularly streambeds.
No better was that need illustrated than by 18-year-old Mickey Weathers, whose mud-bogging pickup sank in Euchee Creek. While most of the heckling Greenbrier High School students riding past viewed the incident as Weathers just desserts, few of them likely note the ground-digging damage such off-roaders do on a regular basis.
As county officials research the law and seek changes to county ordinances, Commissioner Steve Brown has the best solution - one that wont require any change in the law at all. If they want to do these things, Brown says, they can put them on a trailer and go to private property and ride all they want.
With permission, of course.
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