St. Louis police to enforce statute prohibiting ATVs on city streets

SLMPD announced Thursday it will begin to crack down on ATV drivers on city streets by enforcing a state statute.

May 09, 2019 - 10:18 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) updated Thursday p.m. — There are reports of ATV's weaving through traffic in south St. Louis and aldermen are wondering what can be done about it. 

They ride in groups, sometimes running red lights, popping wheelies and forcing nearby motorists to hit the brakes to avoid an accident. Bevo Mill area Alderwoman Carol Howard says she's seen it herself, sometimes they drive through the parks near Gravois Avenue and Christy Boulevard. 

She wishes police would pull them over and give them a ticket, but they can't do that. In a comment to Fox 2, which has video of some of the ATV riders in the city, police say, "there are no city ordinances on the books for ATVs." While there are Missouri state laws against ATV's on public roads, the statement also explained how police aren't able to pursue them because it's against policy.

"The problem seen by our Traffic Safety Division is that the ATV drivers will take off from the police and by policy, we cannot chase them for traffic violations." 

The chairman of the St. Louis City Aldermanic Public Safety Committee Joe Vaccaro says they may have to pass a new ordinance to deal with the situation. 

"We're either going to have to come up with ordinances either outlawing them, if that's possible, or creating (sic) where they can actually ride them," Vaccaro says. "Because it isn't safe."

Vaccaro says they look "threatening" when riding in a group and Howard says her daughter told her they are some "bad dudes" when she saw a group recently.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced Thursday afternoon on Facebook that it will be enforcing a state statute, effective immediately, prohibiting ATVs on city streets. Violators of the law will receive a Class C misdemeanor and subject to arrest and towing of their vehicle.

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