Restricting vehicles on some roads discussed

With the variety of alternative motor vehicles making their way to markets, Ohio will soon have new laws in place to address the use of roadways throughout the state.

All-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, mini-trucks, golf carts and utility vehicles all hold different definitions according to the Ohio Revised Code, and come Jan. 1, additional requirements will affect the use of each on state highways, county roads and city streets.

“But I believe Belpre is looking at banning them altogether on their streets,” said City Law Director Paul Bertram during a council committee meeting Wednesday. “Maybe it would be right in this case to have some consistency between the two cities in Washington County.”

But Marietta Police Capt. Aaron Nedeff said there are two sides to the argument.

“I don’t like the idea of these slower vehicles on state routes, but the other part of this is it may be better in the long-term for our city environment to allow use on the back streets and roads under 25 mph,” he explained. “That would mean vehicles that already move slower and take up less room on the roads and create fewer emissions. Plus if you don’t allow them on the streets then they’ll probably just be used on the River Trail regardless.”

Council will continue the discussion about special vehicle use on roadways at its Dec. 7 Streets Committee meeting at 4 p.m.

In other business:

Nedeff also approached council to ask for authorization to spend funds previously budgeted for new equipment.

“I’m asking for $8,000 out of the Law Enforcement Trust and $10,000 out of the General Fund to pay for new radios,” said Nedeff. “Our current radios will no longer have replacement parts made come next year and the company we have worked through with our communications equipment is offering this $18,000 deal with the rebate for the return of our analog radios.”

Nedeff said the new radios would be digital and Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th ward, and chair of Finance Committee, said the expenditure would not put any undue stress on the police department’s coffers.

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