Baltimore County police crack down on reckless ATV drivers in Essex area

August 19, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Complaints about reckless all-terrain vehicle drivers have caused Baltimore County police in the Essex area to increase their enforcement efforts, police said.

Some ATV drivers have been cutting across U.S. 40 - one of the busiest roads in the county - and driving on private land without the permission of the owners, police said. Both acts are against the law.

ATV drivers in the county also are required to display a certificate and wear safety equipment such as a helmet and glasses or goggles, police said.

Failure to obey these laws can result in a citation, and after three citations, the ATV can be confiscated, police said. Officers issued 87 citations last year, some with fines as high as $500, police said.

Enforcement efforts so far have focused on the Bowleys Quarters, Oliver Beach and Middle River areas, police said.

Lt. Robert Baulduf of the Essex precinct said county police have been trying for about a year to enforce ATV laws. He said it can be a challenge to catch up to the drivers.

"We have officers who aren't in uniform approach them on foot after they've stopped or after they get stuck," he said. "Sometimes they get away from us, but it's too dangerous to chase them."

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