Police warn about misuse of ATVs in Wolcott - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police warn about misuse of ATVs in Wolcott

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Wolcott Police Department is cracking down on misuse of ATVs. (WFSB) Wolcott Police Department is cracking down on misuse of ATVs. (WFSB)

Police are cracking down after receiving multiple reports of quad or All-Terrain Vehicles being seen driving on public roadways and private property in Wolcott.  

With the nice weather, there has been an uptick in complaints.

"It's disturbing because you know you have to watch traffic enough yourself as a normal driver. You know to have some kid flying through with a recreational vehicle and they're not honoring traffic laws, you know makes driving ten times worse," said Timothy Cleveland, of Wolcott.

Wolcott police have had 40 complaints about atv's and dirtbikes either trespassing or traveling on public roadways. Seven so far this year.

"Warmer weather comes we get more and more complaints of people riding quads. Either it's on the trails, on the streets going over the ball fields, on school property," said Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens.

The complaints were about the following items:

  • ATV’s trespassing
  • traveling on the roadway
  • traveling at a high rate of speed
  • riding on school grounds or municipal properties

The incidents were reported in the following locations: 

  • Clark Street
  • Diamond Terrace
  • Midwood Avenue
  • Wakelee School/Hemple Drive
  • Colman Drive
  • Williams Court
  • Scoville Road

Police also advised parents to inform their children that riding an ATV on a public highway or road was illegal in Connecticut.  

A 14-year-old from Terryville died after crashing her ATV in Wolcott in 2012. Christopher Bard crashed near the end of Beecher Road in April 2012.  

While traveling on the power line trails and path, Bard held down his hood and was driving one-handed to shield his eyes from the rain. It was at that point that he struck a closed gate, which caused fatal injuries.

Anyone who violates the state statutes can face the following penalties:

  • First-degree or second-degree criminal trespass - misdemeanor custodial arrest
  • Simple trespass - $92 fine 
  • Unregistered MV - $117 and related towing and storage fees
  • Operating a snowmobile or ATV without a valid registration – $92
  • Unreasonable speed by ATV or snowmobile - $188
  • Failure to stop ATV or snowmobile upon request by authorized person - $117
  • Operating a snowmobile or ATV on a public highway - $117 
  •  Operating ATV without proper muffler or lighting or reflective devices - $117
  • Operating ATV underage (under 16) or proper supervision - $136
  • Operating ATV on state land without certificate, underage, or without supervision - $136

"The Wolcott Police Department will take the appropriate enforcement action going forward with respect to these complaints. Please cooperate with the laws concerning ATV use or you could be arrested," police posted on their Facebook page. 

Chief Stephens said his officers have made arrests along the trails, issued tickets, and will impound any atv's if necessary.

For more information on ATV policy, click here

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