Bill addresses ATVs on Maine private land

Posted Jan. 19, 2010, at 11:03 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — All-terrain vehicle use on private land is on the agenda in a Maine legislative committee this week.

On Tuesday, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee takes up a bill that would allow wardens to stop ATVs operated on privately owned property without a reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe a violation of the law has occurred.

That’s a change from the present law, which says a law enforcement officer must have a reasonable suspicion of a violation whether the ATV is on public or private land.

Rep. Ralph Sarty, a Denmark Republican, says he wants to change the law because that extra measure of enforcement is needed to foster good relations between private landowners and ATV users.