Township to consider prohibiting ATV use on roadways

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.