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Township to consider prohibiting ATV use on roadways

June 16, 2011

Mary Culver, a resident of Spring Run Road in Weedville, requested that the Jay Township Supervisors prohibit ATV use on roadways following a fatal crash involving two teenagers, which occurred last week on Mt. Zion Road. Photo by Becky Polaski.

The Jay Township Supervisors are considering revoking ATV use on township roads following an accident last week in which two area teenagers were killed.
That crash occurred along Mt. Zion Road on Wednesday evening, resulting in the deaths of two 16-year-old St. Marys Area High School students, Steven Glatt of St. Marys and Allen Gursky of Weedville. The cause of the crash was attributed to the teens driving too fast for conditions.
During the supervisors' meeting Thursday evening, Spring Run Road resident Mary Culver asked the supervisors to do away with the ordinance. ATV use is currently permitted on 33.29 miles of roadway in Jay Township, an area comprised of about 18 different roads.
"I'm here to insist that the ordinance in place that permits ATV use on township roads be revoked immediately," Culver said. "We do not have the systems in place to police it, monitor it, and guarantee the safety of all individuals who use that road, whether they're a pedestrian, an ATV rider or a motorist. Last week's tragedy is evidence of this. The situation is out of control and to do nothing is just going to permit more tragedy in the future."
Supervisor Francis Gustafson agreed that something needs to be done in order to control ATV use on the township roadways. However, he remarked that simply revoking the permission for individuals to operate ATVs along select township roadways was not going to solve the problem.
"I don't have a problem with [revoking ATV use on the township's roadways], but [back when those roadways were not open for ATV use] they used to run all over the place. I just don't agree with shutting it down, but I do agree with one thing: we have to come up with a better way of controlling it," Gustafson said.
At their July meeting, the supervisors indicated that they hope to have representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police, Elk County ATV Riders and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources present to further discuss the matter. In the meantime, Gustafson indicated that he plans to review the township's ordinance and also contact their attorney to see what liabilities they may face from incidents related to ATV use on the township's roads.



June 17, 2011 by dorno83 (not verified), 4 years 5 weeks ago
Comment: 137

DUMBEST IDEA EVER!! Shutting the roads down does not stop the Riders from riding the roads.

But Gustafson has a good point and I do agree with that.

Tragic Accident

June 17, 2011 by recrider1 (not verified), 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 136

Any accident involving teenagers is tragic and unfortunately occurs more often than we would like. Revoking the rights of ATV riders will not prevent this. The next time there is an automobile accident involving teenagers will we close roads down to all automobile traffic to prevent future accidents like that occurring? Bicycle accident? Will we ban bicycles? Hunting accident? Will we ban hunting?
ATV riding is a real recreational sport that is enjoyed by many local residents as well as visitors to the area and should not be taken away because of one tragic accident.

Does the end justify the means?

June 17, 2011 by JayTwpResident (not verified), 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 135

It’s very disturbing that Mary Culver would use the tragedies that recently happened on a Jay Township road in an attempt to gain personal benefit. As many people already know, she and her husband, William, have been harassing their neighbors by calling the police whenever anyone, not only members of their neighbors’ households, rides an ATV in front of the Culver home. A few months ago, William had even posted to the Facebook page of a neighbors’ son expressing his annoyance at the noise made by ATV’s. In his posts, the man fabricated a multitude of unsubstantiated reasons why the boys’ ATV was mechanically illegal, about the boys’ supposed immaturity, and about a non-existing noise ordinance in the area.

If this couple cannot stand the noise in their neighborhood, they really should consider moving to an isolated spot, away from all civilization. If the Culvers are now bothered by sounds that have been present ever since Mary moved into the house over 10 years ago, they will probably find other man-made sounds annoying. In pursuing their cause, they are not only affecting their next-door neighbors, but many other people who use Jay Township roads for recreational ATV use for things such as; a convenient method of traveling to and from relatives and friends homes or camps; accessing their favorite berry picking spot; or taking photos of flora and fauna. Most of which Mary has done herself in the past.

Not making light of the recent tragedies, but as with any accident, there are usually several factors involved. I am not making any assumptions as to why the accident happened, but prohibiting ATV use on township roads is not a guarantee that something like this may not ever happen again. It may even have a negative effect, as I have witnessed many ATV’s traveling erratically and at unsafe speeds on roads and highways not designated for ATV use, in obvious attempts to avoid being caught by law enforcement.

This is clearly a case where the Culvers believe that “the end will justify the means”; regardless of how low they stoop to achieve their goal. Not only are they taking law enforcements’ attention from legitimate police work, but they are now using others' personal tragedies to plead their own cause. Shame on them!

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