STATE SENATOR MARK MAYNARD HELPS PASS OFF-ROAD BILL
Typically, when off-road enthusiasts hear the word “government” or “politician,” the first word that comes to mind is “regulation,” or some form of restriction on recreational activities, whether that’s in the form of closure of state or federal land or requirements for emissions-control equipment, permits, lighting, safety equipment, and so forth. For once, one of the politicians is a hard-core enthusiast with gasoline running through his veins and dirt and grease under his fingernails. Meet West Virginia State Senator Mark R. Maynard, a representative for West Virginia’s District 6, bordering Kentucky and Virginia.
Senator Maynard personally reached out to us and wanted to share his latest accomplishment: sponsoring a bill digitizing maps of the state and designating roads and trails that are off-road–vehicle friendly. The bill, West Virginia Senate Bill 691, also broadens the definition of all-terrain and utility terrain vehicle to include Jeeps, SUVs, and pickups. The broad definition is “three or more low-pressure (less than 20 psi) tires.”
West Virginia’s off-road trail system is administered by the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Trail Authority. Yep, named after those Hatfields and McCoys. The stated purpose of the authority is to “develop a world-class trail system with an emphasis on safety.” The trail systems are open 365 days a year, and many of the attractions and destinations on the trail system are only accessible via off-road vehicle.
If you don’t believe the senator’s gearhead bona fides, you can check out his biography yourself on his Senate page, which includes the presidency of the Eastcoast Streetcar Association; NHRA crewmember; membership in SEMA, the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA), and Tread Lightly; and founding member of the Appalachian Ridge Runners Off Road Club. Still not convinced? His daughter’s middle name is “Chevelle.” We’re glad that “one of us” is looking out for our rights in the statehouse, at least in West Virginia.