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ATV use concerns poll respondents

February 27, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

Martinsburg, W.Va. - An overwhelming number of people who responded to a poll conducted by Del. John Overington say they favor licensing all-terrain vehicles and restricting their use on state roads.

Of the 355 people who responded to the poll, 83 percent said they favor restricting ATV use.

Currently, a license is not required to operate ATVs, and Overington said many of his constituents have complained to him about teenagers racing ATVs up and down state roads.

Overington said the issue deserves attention, especially since West Virginia has the highest rate of accidents involving ATVs.

A bill going through the Legislature would restrict their use, said Overington, R-Berkeley.

At the beginning of the year, Overington sends out a newsletter to his constituents asking them to respond to 16 questions about state issues.

Overington said the results of the poll help him best represent the interests of his constituents when he goes to Charleston for the annual session of the Legislature.

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"It lets me know what's on people's minds, whether crime is a concern, hunting is a concern. It gives me a good guideline," Overington said.

Other results of the poll included:

- 67 percent opposed hate crime legislation that would give special protection to people based on their sexual orientation.

- 74 percent were in favor of extending the school year beyond June 8 to make up for school closures due to snow or other factors.

- 94 percent favored allowing newspapers to print the names of teenagers involved in repeat or violent crimes.

- 82 percent were in favor of lowering the age at which teenagers can be tried as an adult from 18 to 16.

- 59 percent opposed allowing car dealers to sell older, high-mileage cars "as is" without a guarantee but at a lower price.

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