Police Crack Down on ATVs

By Doug Greene
|  Thursday, May 22, 2014  |  Updated 3:21 PM EDT
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Police Crack Down on ATVs

NBC 5 Investigates Consumer Unit

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Barred by law from chasing dirt bikes and ATVs that generate noise and danger on city streets, police in Hartford hope the public will help them find the offroad vehicles, by Twitter.

This is one of several efforts to crack down in Connecticut communities. 

Police in New Haven, Branford, West Haven, North Haven, East Haven, North Branford and Hamden are working together to tackle the problem.

A new HartfordATV Twitter page shows ATVs and dirt bikes in action in Bushnell Park, of all places.

"There's a lot of people that own them out there," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley, "but I'm guessing for every one person that owns an ATV out there, there's 50 residents that are sick of having them hammer down the street."

The danger is clear. On May 7 in New Britain, police arrested a man for allegedly hitting and dragging a 7-year-old boy.

Police in Hartford have turned to Twitter, hoping to find where the ATVs and dirt bikes are stored.

"If we find where they are, certainly we can't pursue 'em," said Foley, "but certainly we can wait for 'em to come out or wait for them to come back and get 'em then. So hopefully the Twitter page that we have set up will allow people to get that for us and that's Hartford ATV on Twitter."

Operators face potential jail time and a possible fine of up to $1,000, even for the first offense. So does an owner of an ATV or dirt bike who knowingly permits illegal operation.

To report ATV and dirt bike sightings, call 203-946-6098.

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