After explaining how he almost ended up “eating the dashboard,” to avoid running over a four-wheeler driver, Grant Montana said he wants the Liberty County Board of Commissioners to consider an ordinance prohibiting the vehicles on county roads.
“It’s like something suddenly appearing in front of you,” Montana said of the often unsupervised underage drivers.
Montana, who said his reflexes were the only thing that prevented an accident, pointed out that trees also may obscure a motorist’s vision, potentially putting unseen four-wheeler drivers in unsafe situations.
“Everybody is not so aware of this that as they approach their driveways and their homes, they’re going to slow, looking around these little blind corners,” he said. “Children are not going to be thinking about that.”
The Colonel’s Island resident called a police officer about his close call. He was told there is very little that can be done, despite Montana’s incident being the fourth one reported to police that day.
Montana said he has nothing against the vehicles, but does not think four-wheelers have a place on the road.
“They’re using the roadways for recreation areas,” Montana said. “And it goes on all day, every day.”
In my experience, they’re just flying through these blind roads, blind turns, and the potential for a real disaster is there.”
He said if the vehicles are prohibited on state and city roads, county roads should be no different.
“My concern is what appears to be a gap between the state and county laws,” Montana said. “The interesting thing is, they’re not considered motorized vehicles by the county sheriff.”
Commissioner Pat Bowen agreed there is some disparity in the law, especially since the person driving the car would be held liable if it collided with a four-wheeler.
Chairman John McIver said the board may check with other counties regarding laws for four-wheelers.
“If there’s any existing ordinances ... we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to try to create something,” McIver said.
Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles asked the Long Board of Commissioners to beef up any county regulations in 2007 after a teen was killed in a four-wheeler wreck.
Last December, two Long County teens on a four-wheeler collided head-on with
a van. They both survived.