Brantley could crackdown on offroad vehicles in town

Published 9:53 am Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brantley council members expressed concerns over four-wheelers riding on the sidewalks in town on Tuesday night.

Councilwoman Judy Woolley said she was recently almost struck by a four-wheeler on a city sidewalk.

Traditionally, the town of Brantley has been lenient on those who ride golf carts or ATVs on city streets and sidewalks.

However, Alabama law prohibits driving “any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.”

Additionally, it is a misdemeanor violation to drive one of these on a sidewalk or sidewalk area, according to an attorney general opinion.

Alabama law also requires that “every motor vehicle operator who operates a motor vehicle upon any city street or other public highway of or in this state shall at all time keep attached and plainly visible on the rear end of such motor vehicle a license tag or license plate as prescribed and furnished by the Department of Revenue at the time the owner or operator purchases his license.”

The AG’s office has also issued opinions determining that “the term motor vehicle contemplates a vehicle designed for use upon highways. A self-propelled vehicle not designed for use upon a highway, but designed for off road use by the manufacturer does not fall within the definition of motor vehicle.”

Town officials also reminded the public that a person has to be over 16 years of age to operate a golf cart or ATV.

The Brantley Police Department could issue a citation to the parent or the child; however, Woolley had a solution before going that far.

“If they are caught twice, take them home and tell the parents we don’t care who you are, we are just trying to keep them safe,” she said.

Councilman Darryl Elliott agreed.

“We need to head it off before it gets bad,” he said. “The police have the right to write a ticket.”