Keeping reckless off-road riders in check
December 19, 2011
In “Off-road riders seek respect” (Dec. 12, The Aspen Times), I applaud Traci Schalow for raising an issue that is affecting not just our community but rather the whole country.
A growing minority of off-road riders is trespassing on private property, damaging public lands and causing conflict among outdoor users. Responsible riders are right to be worried that off-road recreation areas will be closed because of a reckless few. I’ve seen it happen around the country, and it could happen here if we don’t hold riders responsible. I commend Traci and her group for being organized and promoting responsible riding.
One solution raised by some in the law-enforcement community that would help track and bring to justice the minority of reckless riders who are threatening the sport for others is a large, visible identification sticker or plate on each off-road vehicle. An identification system would eliminate the free pass these riders continue to receive here and around the country. While Colorado does require registration decals on off-road vehicles, they are only about the size of a credit card – too small to be of use to identify law breakers on their vehicles.
Additionally, establishing stronger penalties will deter riders from engaging in reckless behavior. This not only preserves the safety of our community but also limits the problems in the Roaring Fork Valley and around the state.
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Director, Responsible Trails America