by LUKE WIENEKE
Mini trucks were a controversial topic at Monday night's Duluth City Council meeting, as the councilors debated the safety and environmental effects of letting these vehicles be driven on Duluth roads.
After all the debate was finished, the council voted to not allow mini-trucks onto Duluth roads four to five.
Mini trucks are similar to an ATV with a truck bed on the back, and are able to go up to 55 miles per hour on a highway. The problem, according to Councilor Gauthier, is that "it's too dangerous to drive because if you crash, you will either be pinned up against the bed or a door and be seriously injured or even die."
Councilor Fosle also added that, "They are just a glorified ATV, and they are illegal on the Duluth roads."
During the debate, the council seemed pretty split on the decision, even after the explanations by farm workers Ben Fischer-Meritt and Steven Wiggle, who said that the mini-trucks were very useful for their business and would lower fuel costs for their farm because of their efficiency on the roads.
Councilor Cuneo said, "The mini-trucks are about as safe as a motorcycle, and they are allowed on the road in Duluth. The trucks can also be used as a useful tool for the local economy."
Councilor Hartman agreed also saying that motorcycles are more dangerous and they are more similar to a small car than an ATV. Fuel economy was also a topic, as Councilor Gardner stated that mini-trucks have been approved by the EPA, and they aren't as damaging to city streets as other trucks are.