JoAnna Lou
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ATV Kills Local Pup
An illegal ATV strikes a dog out on an evening walk
ATVs are clearly banned in Tibbetts Brook Park, where a dog was struck and killed earlier this week.

Earlier this week a dog named Lucy was struck and killed by an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in my local park. The pup and her family were out for an evening walk on the bicycle paths in Tibbetts Brook Park, where ATVs are banned.

I live in a fairly urban area, so I had no idea people even owned ATVs around here. However, I’ve since learned that illegal ATV use is quite common in parks and even streets.

Most states ban ATVs from being driven in the street since they are fast, noisy, and not designed to be ridden on asphalt. ATVs are designed for off road use, so they are difficult to control on pavement, such as the bicycle path in Tibbetts Brook Park.

In Lucy’s case, while the police were sympathetic, unfortunately it’s unlikely the ATV rider will face any serious charges. He will lose his vehicle, but that’s a small penalty for killing someone’s family member.

The next time I go to the park with the pups (or even to ride my bicycle), I will be extra vigilant about the possibility of illegal ATV riders. It’s important to protect your crew and help maintain the safety of our parks by reporting any vehicles you see. Hopefully in the future we can avoid a tragedy like Lucy's.

Visit the About.com ATV web site to look up your state’s ATV laws and regulations.



JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Carolyn | November 12 2010 |

A favorite hiking trail of ours is posted "no motorized vehicles" and brush and/or fencing has been positioned to block ATV access. We still see ATV tracks and occasionally, they come roaring by, so we are very vigilant. It does kind of take away from the experience! It's a shame that so many outdoor recreational activities really are incompatible with each other.

Submitted by Shannon | November 12 2010 |

Lucy's family is talking to the DA's office about a reckless endangerment charge. Lucy was a very large German Shepherd; the ATV and dirtbike could easily have killed her human mom as well. Everyone please be vigilant, carry your cellphone with you, and report illegal vehicles when you see them.

Submitted by ATVs | November 30 2010 |

Yeah, its really quite serious issue. Police should take some action against those people who drives ATVs without limit. Here in my area also two kids were injured when an ATV hit them from back. City police had arrested that guy who was driving ATV. :(

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