Bill filed to crack down on use of ATVs on public roads

By John McPhaul

Rep. Orlando José Aponte Rosario, who chairs the Legal Committee in the island House of Representatives, has filed House Resolution 474 so that the use on Puerto Rico’s roads of vehicles not suitable for public roadways, such as four-by-fours, off-road or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and golf carts, is considered a felony.

“This measure provides a means to control a situation that has been increasing and so that the improper use of these vehicles, in contrast to Law 22-2000 [regulating] traffic, is considered a serious crime that entails the automatic confiscation of the vehicle in question,” the legislator said in a written statement.

“It is known that off-road vehicles are vehicles where the manufacturer certifies that they are not suitable for driving on the roadways, so any citizen who uses one on the public roads of the country is doing so in violation of the law,” Aponte Rosario said. “Law 22-2000 needs to be amended to address the situation that has triggered the proliferation of these types of vehicles, or four-by-fours, that are not suitable for roads in the country, which we can observe on a daily basis creating chaos and unrest for citizens.”

Aponte Rosario’s legislation comes after in recent days, Police Bureau agents broke up a motorcycle race staged by the so-called Rey (King) Charley in which police issued more than 1,000 citations for infractions of the law. Last Sunday, meanwhile, a group of people on four-by-fours stopped traffic on the Las Américas Expressway.

“What we are promoting is order on public roads, that the provisions of the manufacturer of these vehicles are complied with and that accidents be avoided, because everyone knows that ‘off road vehicles’ do not have the same protection against accidents as normal cars,” the lawmaker said.

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