The Iowa house has approved a bill exempting cities or counties from liability if they build a park for four-wheelers. The goal is to shield local governments from damage claims by people who want to tool around on an all-terrain vehicle on trails built just for that activity. Representative Carmine Boal, a republican from Ankeny, says it’s similar to a measure approved a couple of years ago that helped communities buildomg skate parks. Boal says there’s a skateboarding park in Ankeny, “and I drive by there and shudder,” but she says it’s the decision by the young people to pursue that pastime, and they’re responsible for what they do. But Representative Don Shoultz, a democrat from Waterloo, says four-wheel ATV’s are more dangerous than skateboards Shoultz says he thinks it’s a matter of responsibility, for the parks and trails in general. If the city or county had some liability, he thinks they’d be more diligent about maintaining the trails and policing activity there. Taking their liability away, he says, would “leave it wide open.” But Schoultz was in the minority and the bill passed by a 70-to-26 margin. It now goes to the Senate.
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