As the weather warms up, police in Waterbury are concerned about ATVs and dirt bikes hitting the city’s roads illegally and causing danger for other drivers and pedestrians.
This week the Waterbury Police Department is urging residents on social media to call a tipline set up specifically to report ATV and dirt bikes on public roads and parks. The city passed an ordinance in 2016 that made driving these vehicles on city roads and property illegal.
Email TIPLINE: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Not that were against ATVs but we don’t want them in our public roads we don’t want them in our playgrounds or our city parks,” explained Lt. David Silverio of the Waterbury Police Department.
Silverio said residents should speak up when they see the vehicles out on city streets, and that the problem has led to accidents in the past.
“They’re kids that are driving them on our roads that are not trained they don’t know the traffic laws, they’ve been involved in accidents and it’s pretty upsetting to the citizens when the ATVs, motorcycles are driving in and out of traffic not obeying our laws,” Silverio said.
Brenda Fuegen has been driving in Waterbury for decades and recently seeing ATVs on the roads makes her nervous behind the wheel.
“They just pass you like you’re not there like you don’t exist. I don’t want somebody slam into me,” she said.
She hopes the tipline discourages ATV rivers from going out on the streets.
Some people who ride and sell these vehicles spoke with NBC Connecticut and said illegal riding is a problem, but there also aren’t currently many places in the state to ride them legally.
“Other states like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine - they have trail systems and people take big vacations just to go down there and ride we have the land here in the northwest corner northeast corner we just don’t use it,” Nick Ferguson pointed out.
If you’re caught driving an ATV or dirt bike on public roads in Waterbury, police can issue a misdemeanor summons, which means going to court. Your vehicle can also be impounded.