Sens. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Denton Darrington, R-Declo, cast the only “no” votes in a 30-2 vote this morning on SB 1061, a measure from Sen. Lee Heinrich, R-Cascade, to allow counties to ticket motorists who drive onto groomed snowmobile trails. “Too much government,” Darrington declared after the vote. “We just keep controlling everything.” “Too much regulation,” added Cameron, as senators around them chuckled. Heinrich told the Senate, “A groomed snowmobile trail seems to attract motor vehicle drivers up the trail and to an unwitting disaster.” Cars and trucks drive along the trails with “a false sense of security,” Heinrich said, until they suddenly sink through the firm crust and get themselves stuck, wrecking the trail in the process and requiring rescue. He said in Valley County, they tried “tank traps and large berms at the trailhead,” and that kept the cars off - but insurers balked because snowmobilers were wrecking on the obstacles. “We we are back to a smooth, inviting trail,” Heinrich said.
The bill easily passed despite the two longtime senators’ protest votes, and now heads to the House.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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