Niles, Ohio, cracking down on ATV scofflaws

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Authorities in and around Niles, Ohio, are cracking down on errant ATV, snowmobile and quad riders, who will face higher fines and tougher law enforcement this summer.

"Someone is going to get hurt," Niles police Chief Simeone told the Tribune. "Just this week we had an ATV driver pull up behind one of our patrol cars, hit it and drive away."

The Niles police department received 42 calls in April from residents about ATV drivers racing on private properties and city streets, part of an onging trend that includes residents complaining of riders causing property damage.

In response, the Niles City Council has begun increasing fines for drivers convicted of violating city ATV regulations. A proposed ordinance would give first-time offenders up to $100 fine and three days in jail; a second offense could bring up to a $300 fine and 10 days in jail; and a third offense would cost up to $500 and a jail sentence of not less than 30 days. Offenders could have their vehicles immobilized or destroyed, depending on the number of related offenses. The city considered fines of up to $1,000, according to the newspaper.

Existing fines range from $50 to $500 with possible jail time from three to 30 days. Vehicles can be impounded but must be returned after the sentence or fine is fulfilled.

Posted by Holly Wagner