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State Rep. Seeks Creation of ATV Trails in CT

With no legal ATV trails in Connecticut, State Rep. Anthony D'Amelio proposed bills pertaining to the recreational vehicles and how to generate funds for trail maintenance.

Ten years ago, State Rep. Anthony D'Amelio bought two all-terrain vehicles for himself and his son. But in order to legally ride them, they had to go to Massachusetts.

"There are no legal ATV trails in the state of Connecticut," he said. "We were forced to register our ATVs in Massachusetts because there's lots of trails there, but you have to register."

Eventually, D'Amelio, who represents Middlebury and Waterbury in the Connecticut House of Representatives, bought dirt bikes.

"It was too hard to go to Massachusetts whenever we wanted to ride," he said. "There are a lot of trails in Connecticut for dirt bikes, but not ATVs.

D'Amelio recently introduced two bills to the Connecticut General Assembly:

On Jan. 10, the bills were referred to the Joint Committee on Environment. Both proposed bills are attached to this article as PDFs.

This isn't the first time D'Amelio proposed bills pertaining to ATVs in Connecticut. He said in the past, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection didn't support the bill due to not having the funds to maintain the trails.

"That's where the registration comes in," he said.

Requiring Connecticut residents to register their ATVs for $30 means those fees can go toward trail maintenance, said D'Amelio. Trails already exist in the state that could be suitable for ATV-riding, he said.

"It's high time the state of Connecticut recognizes that a lot of ATVs out there are driven illegally because there's no legal place to drive them," he said. "I'd like to stop that."

Dave February 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM
He bought them knowing that he would have to go to Mass to ride them and now wants all of us to listen to the noise, smell the exhaust and look at all the damage they do to the environment so that he isn't inconvenienced? Why doesn't he just buy a piece of property big enough in CT so that he can ride them?
Tom February 18, 2013 at 01:12 PM
So, I guess it would be safer to have people (kids) ride them on the street and endanger themselves.. We built dog parks for people to walk their dogs in and allow them to play. Why would there be a problem building a park for ATV's?
David February 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Why should the Gov't fund through registration places people should ride? What if someone already has a place to ride and they don't want to pay more to use their machine? What if people don't want to ruin the public lands for the use of "riding?" If there is such a demand, why don't more private riding places open and charge. This is not something we need our gov't doing. I have heard towns have opened areas, this should be left up to a town. Move or rent in that town to get your place to ride. If it's a skill you want to develop, you should be able to pay for that skill. Fine parents who let their kids ride on the streets.
Dave February 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM
If they don't have a place to ride why do they buy the machine? Answer: They plan on riding it illegally, like in the street,on public or someone else's private land (typically by trespassing). If people (kids) are riding in the street then where are their parents?

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