Letter to the Editor:

I remember a Vilas County News-Review opinion in the late summer of 2018 regarding defending “mainstream news” vs. Donald Trump coining “fake news.” Your May 8 opinion article “Uninsured ATVs, UTVs, shouldn’t be on roadways,” is a very good example of what readers in the nation en­counter daily as fake news. 

First is the headline itself, which, like in many cases, is very misleading and creates false news by themselves; and somewhere, usually on page 38 in the big papers, is buried the truth. 

In this case, my takeaway is ATVs and UTVs shouldn’t be on roadways.

Second is the fact I feel your reason for ATV mandatory insurance is very weak. ATVs need insurance just because motorists, by law, require it. Just like fake news, pitting Americans against Americans. 

I can write to great length to answer your question of “Why are ATVs not mandated to have insurance?” but due to space, the short answer is follow the money. It will be mandated as soon as insurance companies can profit. Then, they will lobby and buy the legislation.

The third point I want to make is media research has many times documented that mainstream media such as newspaper and TV run in the high 90-95 percentile negative news about Trump’s presidency, making it fake news when so biased. 

This was a very negative anti-ATV editorial, certainly made-up fake news, as you were void of explaining how any motorist was hurt by an ATV who was uninsured. I have a hard time correlating ATV fatalities, on and off public roads, having anything to do with mandatory ATV insurance. Having in­sur­ance will not save any lives. Most responsible ATV/UTV owners carry liability and casualty insurance. 

Another point on insurance; my auto insurance still sells me an add-on to my policy to protect me should I be in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Explain that it is not about the money.

You could have run a much more positive story about Landover ATV/UTV Club and the many thousand volunteer man-hours spent the last 18 years developing, signing, maintaining routes and trails, fundraising and the nearly one-quarter million dollar investment in trail equipment, storage, club headquarters, recognize and thank the nearly 100 local businesses that support these efforts with their map ads and other fundraisers. You also could have wrote about the other five ATV/UTV clubs in Vilas County doing likewise trail building as Landover, all helping to build tourism in Vilas. 

And last but not least, include the Landover Dual Sporters building, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, off the highway’s motorcycle course. 

There is a lot of positive news and no need for fake news. 

The liberal left mainstream press is the very reason our country has so much divisiveness. 

Let’s not be part of it.

Roger Flaherty

President of Landover  ATV/UTV Club Inc.