I can understand not wanting a bunch of ATV's making noise over near your house. I can understand being worried about safety. I can even understand environmental concerns. What I can't understand is how people who are anti-ATV out on Long Island near my home can sit there and refuse to consider the rider's side of it when confronted with cold, hard facts. Fact - ATV sales outpaced that of street bikes. No matter how many times I tell anti-ATV people this, they refuse to acknowledge it and spout the same crap over and over about how giving a piece of county or state land up for a public ATV park would help out "only a couple thousand people."
Fact - It IS possible to have public riding areas without everybody getting the shit sued out of them. I point to public riding areas in other states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Massachusetts that are bringing in tourism dollars from riders all over the place. The anti-ATV people ignore this. I tell them these public riding areas continue to exist despite liability issues. They ignore me and continue to voice their opinion that liability makes it impossible to have a public riding area on Long Island.
Fact - More people are killed by bee stings in the average year than by ATV accidents. I love how the anti-ATV people constantly parrot some figure of over 4,700 people killed by ATVs. Turns out that even the decidedly anti-ATV lobbying group that cites this figure admits that it's a 20-year total.
Fact - The problem with illegal riding is not a recent phenomenon. It's at least 30 years old. Growing up in Wading River, even as a small child I remember hearing about dirt bike riders getting chased by the cops when riding on public land. The anti-ATVers conveniently forget that when they call for increased law enforcement. It's been at least 30 years and nothing's worked. Perhaps it's time for a change in the way we attack the problem.
I can understand people having strong feelings about the issue, but sometimes debating it is like talking to a brick wall. This is why the problem persists.
UPDATE: I've closed comments on this thread because the comment spammers have latched onto it and keep loading it up with ads for boner pills. I've opened another thread for comments here.