Author Topic: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace  (Read 6967 times)

Offline Mrs. Whoopie Pies

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Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« on: March 22, 2006, 04:58:24 PM »
March 22, 2006

In cities and towns throughout Connecticut, all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts steer with virtual impunity through gaping loopholes in state law, regulation and enforcement. They have created a path of death, injury, crushed habitat, rutted hiking trails and frustrated property owners.

In November, 17-year-old Brendan Horan of Newington was killed when an ATV he was riding crashed through a gate near some quarries in East Berlin. Last May, an East Haddam woman was killed and her husband injured when their ATV plunged off a 100-foot cliff near their home. The previous spring, an East Hartford man was killed and his teenage passenger injured when, after speeding up and down Hartford's Wawarme Avenue, their ATV collided with an oncoming car.
 
A December report by the Council on Environmental Quality, a state agency charged with monitoring environmental trends, cited illegal encroachments by all-terrain vehicles as among the greatest threats to preserved lands around Connecticut. Eroded hiking trails, churned-up stream banks and destroyed wildlife habitat are evidence that illegal use of all-terrain vehicles is rampant.

The situation has grown intolerable. Yet current laws are so weak they encourage ATVers to run right over them (and they often do).

Under state law, ATV owners are prohibited from driving on public roads or publicly owned lands. They can drive on private property if they own or lease the land. Otherwise, they have to obtain the owner's permission and register their vehicles.

Yet the decision whether to register is basically left up to the ATV owner. Given there are an estimated 70,000 ATVs in Connecticut, it's a safe bet the state's registration requirement is widely flouted.

Catching violators is an uphill climb. ATVs can travel at speeds of 60 mph or more. In most cases, by the time law enforcement officials respond, the Huns have long left town. The state Department of Environmental Protection's enforcement division, meanwhile, is understaffed; state and local police departments are mired by limitations of manpower and equipment.

Still, there are occasional victories. On Sunday, a joint effort by state and local police from Madison to Middlefield yielded 21 arrests for operating ATVs on land owned by the state and the South Central Regional Water Authority. Another police crackdown this month in Killingly, Brooklyn and Thompson netted nine arrests. In both instances, police were responding to numerous complaints from neighbors.

The situation in Connecticut demands an effective law. Fortunately, the General Assembly is considering legislation (House Bill 5806) that would address shortcomings in current laws.

The bill would require mandatory registration for all ATVs. Revenues from the $75 registration fee (people who use their ATVs for farming or forestry would be exempt as they should be) would go into a fund to help pay for strengthened law enforcement and to redress environmental damage caused by recreational ATV use.

The bill would also impose a $250 fine for unregistered ATVs - something guaranteed to get the attention and respect of ATVers. The bill would also empower the DEP to seek bonding to buy two properties for the creation of parks for ATV use.

Prospects for this legislation appear uncertain. For all the problems ATVers have created, they have opposed meaningful solutions. It's too bad; considering the scale of the problem and the lack of reasonable laws and regulations, the state will be left with few practical alternatives short of a statewide ban.
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VDoubleUVR6

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 11:00:29 AM »
I know this was posted last year but I must say that I have witnessed alot of ATV riding on public roads...and to be honest its only in Hartford is where I have seen then on more then 5 occasions. My girlfriend lives in the south end which isn't to bad (compared to the north end) but many of those people riding ATV's don't have a love for life. I personally had two ATV's challenge me head on where I wasn't going to budge because obviously they were in my lane going the wrong way...lets just say one of them had to hop the curb and ride onto the sidewalk and peoples personal property.

I think the state should spend more money in patroling public roads rather then worrying about people in the woods on either private property or whatever it may be.

Just irritates me that anyone with a drivers license could walk into pepboys and purchase an ATV and/or Dirt Bikes and what not and just abuse life to the degree where they injure not only themselves but innocent people who use public roads for their intended purposes.

Sorry for the rant...I just get a little irritated when I read things like this. :lol:

Offline Paul'TheGuest'W

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 10:13:50 PM »
FYI there is a small spot in middletown where the landowner offers his 160 acres for quad and dirt bike use.  he charges 30 dollars a day but it's better then a tresspassing ticket.
OMG, this guys avatar may get me in trouble at work.  Not the personal use of company property, I'm safe there.  Its his avatar that's going to get me in trouble.  Phew its gone, now I can get back to screwing off on company time!!

Offline Groundhog

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2007, 11:33:10 PM »
Registering any alternate type of vehicle is only a half measure and in my opinion, charging for the registration is just another way for the local and state gov. to make a quick buck off the backs of the law abiding citizens. People who ride illegally don't give a rats behind about laws or registrations. (It's the gun argument all over again. Not one of the inmates in my facility who committed a crime with a gun applied for a permit first. The law abiding atv owner will suffer, not the screwball.)

I've been trying to get some movement on law changes in Southington, but no one wants to be the bad guy here. What's needed most as far as registration is concerned, is information that should be required from the dealership that sold it new and then from any other indivdual that re-sells it later making them responsible for turning in the info to the state and/or local PD's after it's sold to create a tracking data base. This puts the responsibility on the seller to make sure he reports the vehicle's new owner so it doesn't come back to bite him in the butt.

Info such as color, displacement, make, model, etc. - with the name and address of the owner and the place the vehicle will be kept, should be required as a minimum and they should be stickered with easily read reflective numbers that stay with the vehicle (painted on if need be), not a plate that can be removed or covered.

The problem is that there is no way to identify those individuals who tear up land and tresspass because when it's called in, what do you tell the cops - it was a red atv? Or it was green with red stripes?  At least with a data base - the color of sled or atv could be narrowed down to the few people in town who own that type - and three numbers identified would be better than what we have now - which is nothing to identify them by. (Fines are ridiculous. How many people have stopped using their cell phone while driving for fear of a fine? They should sieze the vehicle and you should pay to get it out and make arrangements to get it home as well - then things would change.)

To top it off, most PD's have a no pursuit policy because they are afraid of lawsuits which means these guys can run wherever they want, with wild abandon.

The reason this flames me is that I almost killed a 10 year old kid two years ago when he ran a stop sign on my street and he was doing it without lights! I tracked him down myself - the cops couldn't be bothered and his parents didn't even know the sled was missing - at 10 o'clock at night. Idiots.

I am totally against charging a dime for registration of any kind. The money will just end up in someones pocket and not where it was intended to be - just like the lottery money that was supposed to go to our education fund! Please!

No offense to anyone who does this, but I know many people who think it's cool to take your atv or sled out in a snow storm and ride through town or around your neighborhood. It's not helping our cause, I can tell you that. When this issue comes up a town meetings absolutely no one is on our side because of it.

This is a complicated issue that no one wants to touch. Good luck.

I know one thing - if you want to committ a crime, do it in the dead of winter, in a massive snow storm and do it on an ATV. No one will even go after you. I want 10%, by the way.

"There is a deep laid plot against your civil & religious liberties. Your golden days are at an end. My heart bleeds for you, America."
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Offline MasterDrazhar

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2007, 12:30:47 AM »
FYI there is a small spot in middletown where the landowner offers his 160 acres for quad and dirt bike use.  he charges 30 dollars a day but it's better then a tresspassing ticket.

 His prices went up again???  I've been there a number of times... $20 a day was okay for the size lot he's got, I dunno about $30 though...   And if he's gonna be charging those rates he has GOT to clearly define his property boundaries...   You can EASILY end up in the watershed area behind him...or up on the blue trails...  and DEP Vigorously patrols that area, and they WILL chase you back THROUGH his property.


 I wonder if he'd let NEJeep cut some trails in there for the Jeeps...  :)


.
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mallcrawl

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2007, 09:29:00 PM »
you know some of these people seem to be taking care of the problem themselves

""November, 17-year-old Brendan Horan of Newington was killed when an ATV he was riding crashed through a gate near some quarries in East Berlin. Last May, an East Haddam woman was killed and her husband injured when their ATV plunged off a 100-foot cliff near their home. The previous spring, an East Hartford man was killed and his teenage passenger injured when, after speeding up and down Hartford's Wawarme Avenue, their ATV collided with an oncoming car.""

maybe we should let them.

I grew up in a small town in northern michigan and can attest to snowmobilers often being a menace to the point where I had to use the big tractor mounted snowblower to make a couple random "walking paths" to keep them far enough away from the buildings to not spook the animals.


Offline Abrasion Sleeve

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2007, 09:03:06 PM »
you know some of these people seem to be taking care of the problem themselves

""November, 17-year-old Brendan Horan of Newington was killed when an ATV he was riding crashed through a gate near some quarries in East Berlin. Last May, an East Haddam woman was killed and her husband injured when their ATV plunged off a 100-foot cliff near their home. The previous spring, an East Hartford man was killed and his teenage passenger injured when, after speeding up and down Hartford's Wawarme Avenue, their ATV collided with an oncoming car.""

maybe we should let them.


Its all part of the 'Natural Order".  Stupid people do stupid things and pay the price.  Sad but true. :rolleyes:
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mallcrawl

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2007, 09:59:29 PM »
I might mention that it was always fun to watch one of them hit one of my "walking paths" at 60 or so and part ways with their machine.

now you all know that I'm not a nice person :(

Offline Groundhog

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2007, 12:05:14 PM »
Be careful. One idiot in Southington did exactly what you just posted - then sued the town and land owner!

IMHO, any judge who even hears a case of someone who is injured while breaking the law is an idiot him or herself. It's like the burglar who sues the homeowner after he gets hurt while breaking in. Their cases should be thrown out. Period.
"There is a deep laid plot against your civil & religious liberties. Your golden days are at an end. My heart bleeds for you, America."
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Offline Mrs. Whoopie Pies

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2007, 03:14:52 PM »
Careful... it's actually against the law.  No liability for injuries unless wilful or malicious.  I'd say your actions are/were both wilful and malicious.  Unfortunately there isn't anyplace for them to ride - not that that gives license to break the law.  There are lots of "acceptable" sports out there that are more dangerous and result in more injuries and deaths than riding an ATV.

What pisses me off about the article is the complete disregard for the other side of the story.  It's biased and was written by an anti-ATV environmentalist that also wrote the ridiculous bill the article speaks of.  Luckily that person was fired and moved to another state.  Luckily the legislature didn't give the bill any thought and it died in committee.

Banning isn't the solution - safe, legal places to ride and education is the solution.

Quote
Sec. 52-557j. Liability of landowner upon whose land snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, minibikes or minicycles are operated. No landowner may be held liable for any injury sustained by any person operating a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, as defined in section 14-379, motorcycle or minibike or minicycle, as defined in section 14-1, upon the landowner's property or by any passenger in the snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or motorcycle, minibike or minicycle, whether or not the landowner had given permission, written or oral, for the operation upon his land unless the landowner charged a fee for the operation, or unless the injury is caused by the wilful or malicious conduct of the landowner.
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Online beaker

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2007, 03:18:52 PM »
I say let them.  If they are too stupid to check for barb wire, gates, and cliffs then we come out ahead as people.

Darwinism RULES!!!

If the snow blown berms are set up to be snow "fences" and are visible then you can say they are a temporary fence put up to keep trespassers out.  Thus not malicious.
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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2007, 03:40:14 PM »
Robin gets it.  :biggrin:
It's not an easy road take, but education and working with state and federal agencies is the only way that this problem will be resolved.

Want to be part of the solution? You can get a good start by attending this seminar next weekend.
There's still time to register.
http://forum.northeastjeep.org/index.php?topic=9263.0
I'll be attending and am offering open seats for a ride there and back.  :cool:



The instant that someone gets seriously injured or killed because of a landowner's booby traps, the landowner might as well pack their toothbrush for their vacation in the big house. Today's legal system just about guarantees that will happen.
Quote
Sec. 52-557j. Liability of landowner upon whose land snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, minibikes or minicycles are operated. No landowner may be held liable for any injury sustained by any person operating a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, as defined in section 14-379, motorcycle or minibike or minicycle, as defined in section 14-1, upon the landowner's property or by any passenger in the snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or motorcycle, minibike or minicycle, whether or not the landowner had given permission, written or oral, for the operation upon his land unless the landowner charged a fee for the operation, or unless the injury is caused by the wilful or malicious conduct of the landowner.


mallcrawl

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2007, 07:53:26 PM »
I might have cut the snowmobilers back home a break if there hadn't been 100 miles of marked trails in the county.

spongebob

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2007, 10:08:45 AM »
Natural Selection FTW!

Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2007, 06:57:11 PM »
Get this,
Out here over at a habitually abused sandpit, the DEP strikes out in plain cloths on thier own ATV's
Out into the middle of sandpit they go, then procede to flip thier own vehicle over ( on purpose )
Then they just hang out, eat lunch, bask in the sun, waiting for some tresspassers to come and offer help uprighting thier overturned ride. BuSted !!!
Entrapment? Maybe. BUT they're getting away with it...and it works
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Offline MasterDrazhar

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2007, 07:24:39 PM »
Get this,
Out here over at a habitually abused sandpit, the DEP strikes out in plain cloths on thier own ATV's
Out into the middle of sandpit they go, then procede to flip thier own vehicle over ( on purpose )
Then they just hang out, eat lunch, bask in the sun, waiting for some tresspassers to come and offer help uprighting thier overturned ride. BuSted !!!
Entrapment? Maybe. BUT they're getting away with it...and it works

 One reason I don't stop for other riders,  Flip your own shit back over...  I do.

 Another reason is a buddy lost his quad to a couple guys out in portland, one guy on a quad and another hiding out, buddy stopped to say hi and see if the guy was okay and 2nd guy jumped out and took his quad while the first guy takes off.

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Kral4me

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2007, 01:40:31 PM »
Does that shit happen here that often!?  :eek: I always stop to help people! Damn.....

Offline MasterDrazhar

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Re: Hartford Courant Article - Curbing The ATV Menace
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2007, 01:57:19 PM »
 Only theft story I ever heard...  But I've heard very similar DEP stories...


 Such as 3-4 plain clothes DEP guys in the woods sitting at an intersection looking like they are just chatting away.  You come along and stop to ask a question or be "neighborly" and they bag ya.   You don't stop, then they'll often times follow you around till you do stop, then bag ya.

 DEP in East Hampton followed us back to my friends house and gave us our citations there.  They then forever showed up at his house after chasing someone through the state forest, till my friend moved to Durham.
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Quote from: Sweet Cheeks Bitty
Nasty and ill-tempered?  I'll show you nasty and ill-tempered you old pinworm...

Quote from: Theo Maassen
Optimists are badly informed Pessimists.[/quote