Hartford finds creative way to crack down on ATVs

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–From standing wheelies weaving in and out of traffic, to ATV’s (All-Terrain Vehicles) swarming the streets of Hartford, Hyacinth Yennie has seen it all. The Hartford native was at city hall on Monday to talk to leaders about the problem.

“I have seen them on there to back wheels in the middle of Maple Avenue and it scares me to death,” Yennie said. “We as a community are always in fear because you never know driving down the road who you’re going to hit because they come–bam–out of nowhere.”

There are videos posted on YouTube by riders in Hartford showing just how fast, and reckless and dangerous they are speeding through the city streets with blatant disregard for traffic, and pedestrians.

The scene plays itself out from Hartford to New Haven to New London. Hartford is looking to take the lead by taking on the gas stations who give them fuel.

Dep. Chief Brian Foley says the city is looking for new and creative ways to stop the ATV outlaws, so law makers have proposed a a penalty to gas stations who serve drive up ATV’s.

“We are not looking to lock up or increase our law enforcement footprint in the city,” Foley said. “We hope this will act as a deterrent for our good business owners who are out there selling gasoline.”

It’s not only the cities and towns but the state as well. It is illegal to ride an ATV anywhere on state property, and they say the machines and people just don’t mix. With ATV’s whipping through the trails, there also hikers out there as well.

Dennis Shain of the DEEP says the Econ officers are out in force looking for violators especially with Memorial Day right around the corner.

“We do arrest people and fine them for being on our land it takes it’s toll on natural resources and habitat and also safety risks if people are out hiking,” Shain said.