Letter to the Editor: 

The failed attempt of Presque Isle town board, in collusion with Vilas County board, to allow ATVs on county highways, was underhanded and just plain stupid. 

Any board member is elected to represent all the people, not just a special interest group. It’s stupid because it involves putting children on high-speed county highways.

Some facts you can look up . . . I did:

• According to the Department of Natural Resources, the number of ATV crashes has doubled from 2020 when 38 people were killed.

• Wisconsin is sixth in the nation when it comes to ATV fatalities.

• However, Wisconsin is number one when it comes to the number of DUIs per capita, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. Yes, we are the drunkest state in the union. Green Bay is first among cities . . . go figure.

• Two thirds, or about 66%, of ATV crashes are on roads. Speed and alcohol are usually involved.

Here comes the hard part, the issue of liability insurance or the State Financial Responsibility Law.

In Wisconsin, you have to be able to prove “financial responsibility” in the event of an uninsured auto, or even motorcycle, accident. For most of us, this is an insurance policy.  Not so with ATVs and other recreational vehicles allowed (with our children) on our highways.  According to the Vilas County sheriff's recreational officer, Jason Molle,  “liability insurance is not required for ATVs.” So much for financial responsibility.

According to the office of the State Commissioner of Insurance, “Wisconsin drivers are required to have an automobile insurance policy in force.”  In other words, be “financially responsible.” However, “Though some states have laws that require liability insurance for ATVs, Wisconsin does not.”

Sounds like a “capricious and arbitrary” lawsuit about to happen. These vehicles belong out in the woods, not on 55-mph highways, and everyone knows it.

What it comes down to is this:  Because an ATV driver is operating a recreational vehicle, he is exempt from having to prove “financial responsibility”  or having a liability insurance policy. 

Sure, you can always sue, but because you are the one with the insurance, you are on the hook for both of these things and probably the legal fees to boot.

Bill Boscamp

Land O’ Lakes