Yamartino: Dirt bikes, quads angering residents

Yamartino: Dirt bikes, quads angering residents


I’m writing this in response to many complaints and inquiries that I have received from many areas of town regarding reckless driving of unregistered dirt bikes and quads on our roadways. These vehicles are often being operated by teens that are not licensed to drive, are uninsured, and have had no driver safety training.

While some claim it’s just kids being kids; I’ve received many calls, texts, and emails. Comments include:

Pedestrians have nearly been hit by speeding dirt bikes; Dirt bikes and quads are running stop signs, narrowly avoiding collision with vehicles; Privately-owned fields, publicly-owned property and the town beach are being torn up; Dirt bikes and quads are being operated at dusk and after dark without proper lights.

I’d like to remind folks that this behavior is not only illegal, but it jeopardizes all of our safety and well-being. These vehicles are able to attain high speed and often aren’t designed to operate safely on public roads.

Please consider the impact on the lives ruined if a child were hit by a car while illegally operating one of these dirt bikes; or, alternatively, if a licensed motorist were killed swerving to avoid the dirt biker. I would encourage parents to assure your children only operate these vehicles on private land; with the land owner’s permission and under adult supervision.

If you see someone operating an unregistered vehicle in a reckless manner, please dial 911 and report incidents as they occur.

Please note the color of the vehicle, helmet and clothing when you report it. If you can get a photo, that will aid in the investigation.

Robert C. Yamartino is First Selectman in the Town of Middlefield.