Bill allows drag racing on the dunes again.

July 30, 2021

– Silver Lake State Park photo

Bill allows drag racing on the dunes again.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP — A bill introduced by State Rep. Scott VanSingel to allow drag racing on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes again has been signed into law.

“We did it! HB 4980 is now law as the governor signed it this morning,” states VanSingel in a Facebook post Thursday, July 29. “Drag racing is now legal again in the Silver Lake State Park. Thanks to all those who helped me work this bill through the process.”

After hearing from many opponents of the drag racing ban at the dunes, VanSingel introduced legislation to allow it.

Rep. Scott VanSingel

“The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently made a decision to prohibit drag racing on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes,” states VanSingel in his June newsletter. “I have heard from so many of you, along with folks from across the state, regarding this issue, and how it negatively affects your experience at Silver Lake.

VanSingel said he made attempts to negotiate a solution with the department, but was unsuccessful. House Bill 4980 exempts Silver Lake from the drag racing ban.

“This morning (Thursday, July 29), Governor Whitmer signed a bill into law which exempts the ORV scramble area of Silver Lake State Park from the drag

Governor Gretchen Whitmer displays the signed bill.

racing law,” states a post on the Silver Lake State Park Facebook page. “Park staff have removed the signs pertaining to drag racing. Although drag racing is no longer prohibited, all other rules and laws still apply: possession of a valid operator’s license, USFS (United States Forest Service) approved spark arrester, maximum of 94 decibels of sound, careless operation, basic speed law, directional traffic zone, no exhibition driving near the beach area, no alcohol, etc. are a few examples. As always, please operate safely out there as we truly want people to have an enjoyable and safe time.”

Drag racing was not permitted on the dunes, because it violated the law, said Silver State Park Manager Jody Johnston just prior to the April 1, 2021 season opener of the dunes. “There has been an increase in popularity of drag racing, and we can’t look the other way any longer,” said Johnston. “It has been deemed illegal by a state law, MCL 257.626a.” 

The no drag racing rule took effect at the state park at the beginning of the 2021 season.

VanSingel represents the 100th District which includes Oceana, Newaygo and Lake counties.

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