HOPKINTON — After incidents involving an ATV and a dirt bike, the police are again asking for community support and compliance with laws banning off-road vehicles from streets and highways.
“We are maintaining our stance that if you do not use the vehicles appropriately, we will impound them,” Hopkinton Police Capt. Mark Carrier said Wednesday. “For us, it’s all about safety and preventing inappropriate behaviors before a bad crash happens.”
On Friday, a 17-year-old was operating a dirt bike along Canonchet Road when the police were told that he was “traveling back and forth at high speeds.”
Carrier said an officer tried to make a traffic stop, but called off the chase when the boy took off at high speed. The officer found the boy around the corner after the bike went out of control and tipped over. The boy was charged with reckless driving by leading police on a high-speed pursuit, and the case was forwarded to Family Court.
Earlier in the week, Carrier said, a younger teen was charged with improper use of an ATV after he was found on a public road. The ATV was impounded, he said.
Carrier said these types of incidents have diminished since the department issued a warning a month ago, but some people are still not complying with the rules. Carrier said the goal isn’t to spoil fun, but simply to keep everyone safe.
Recreational vehicles are prohbitied from using roadways in Rhode Island. Operators are also required to to cross roads at a 90 degree angle and yield the right of way to other vehicles and pedestrians. Proper licensing and safe operation of the recreational vehicles are also required, and violations carry fines of $50 to $100.
Decisions on returning impounded property are left to the courts.
“These vehicles aren't designed for paved roads. Our top priority with this is safety,” Carrier said.