As you contemplate the ATV / UTV routes being proposed around Door County, it’s important that we take a look at headlines from around the country to understand the public perception surrounding these off-road vehicles and what message that sends to potential future residents.
Take for example the chaos which ATV and dirt bike riders are causing in Philadelphia, where hundreds of off-road riders have wreaked mayhem on city streets, intimidating and attacking residents and commuters who confront them.
ATVs and dirt bikes are not supposed to be driven on Philly streets, but a loophole made it hard for police to enforce the law… one which was just recently closed when a unanimous vote amended the traffic code to define ATVs, dirt bikes and dune buggies as illegal vehicles. The change closes a loophole that prevented defining these off-road vehicles as illegal.
Philly residents have long been at odds with dirt bike and ATV riders using city streets. Community meetings about the issue were often animated with homeowners complaining about excessive noise and confrontations with riders.
An 83-year-old elderly driver was swarmed and viciously attacked by a gang of ATV and dirt bike riders in Boston.
Rick Piper is a member of Safe Travel in Our Philadelphia, or STOP, which has been advocating for stronger enforcement against illegal riders.
“The danger to people, to property, and in particular, the impact on the business sector in Philadelphia has been truly devastating,” Piper said.
Despite the change in law, it likely won’t stop the problem, as one proud illegal rider put it so eloquently:
“I’ve been doing this for years. This is my stress reliever. I’m not going to stop. I’m never going to stop,” SAID one rider, who did not identify himself WHEN INTERVIEWED. He added that if the ATV was confiscated, he’d just go buy another.”ABC6 ACTION NEWS, PHILADELPHIA
Video obtained by Action News captured the scene as a mother was walking her infant in a stroller just as an army of ATV and dirt bike riders roared through an intersection.
Police have worked to confiscate as many vehicles as they can to keep the motorized mayhem at bay. But for those hoping to put an end to the chaotic scenes, it’s just not good enough.
“There are approximately 5,000 of these riding around Philadelphia any given day,” Piper said.