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SAFETY ISSUE Crackdown sought on ATV riders


Published: Sat, September 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.


This is not the first time council has discussed the ATV issue.
By VIRGINIA ROSS
VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City council has agreed to ask police officers to crack down on area youths operating all-terrain vehicles illegally throughout the community.
At a public meeting Thursday, council members said they know the situation is dangerous and appears to have worsened in recent months. They acknowledged that several residents have complained.
William Schafer of Dewey Avenue said residents in his neighborhood, especially senior citizens, are being tormented by the youths. He said the youths, age 12 to 16, operate the four-wheelers at all hours.
"I have heard these kids and their parents verbally abuse our police officers," he told council. "These children are breaking the law. This needs to be addressed. It's terrible the way these parents allow their children to be lawless and disrespectful. I'm just afraid someone will get hurt."
City officials said the issue has caused concern in the past. They said part of the problem is that the youths riding the ATVs can easily move in and out of areas beyond police reach.
"And if the police chase [the youths] and they get hurt, the city is liable," said Tammi Gibson, city business administrator. "But the police are trying."
Council President Christine Sands said she intends to ask police to be more forceful.
"The ATVs must be everywhere," she said. "They're in my neighborhood. They're making it dangerous for everyone, the [youths], drivers. I think we need to see what can be done."


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