Blankenbush Joins UTV-Friendly Bill

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By Jude Seymour

Ken Blankenbush has introduced the Assembly companion to Patty Ritchie's Senate bill that would redefine all-terrain vehicles so that heavier, side-by-sides could be legally registered in New York.

Advocates of the bill have long argued that New York could generate "several million dollars" of revenue if the bill became law.

"Time and again I've been asked, 'What can be done to make New York friendlier to ATV riders?'" said Blankenbush in a news release. "This legislation to allow riders to register and ride UTVs legally in New York is one big step in that direction." 

The recently introduced bill has, of yet, no co-sponsors.

It passed the Senate last year with then Sen. Darrel Aubertine as prime sponsor, and appears to be headed towards passage again this year.

Mark Pacilio, Assemblywoman Addie Russell's chief of staff, said of Blankenbush's legislation: "She's contemplating her own bill, but really focused on the budget right now."

Blankenbush said he is also a supporter of legislation that would allow local governments to open up any road in its jurisdiction, whether locally controlled or state-owned, to ATVs for the purpose of linking trails.

Expect a least one vocal source of local opposition: Watertown Daily Times editor Perry White has criticized governments' plans to open their roads to ATVs, instead arguing that trails should be linked between private landowners and publicly available off-road trails.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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