A Danbury City Council Committee has been re-established to look into laws about prohibiting All Terraine Vehicles on City property. The issue was proposed in August 2016. Mayor Joe Cavo says the committee waited for direction and never got off the ground, but this was one of the issues he wanted to see addressed when he took office at the end of 2020.
The Common Council adopted provisions in 2003 dealing with ATVs to prevent damage to parks and public property. In 2016, the General Assembly passed a bill giving municipalities expanded ability to regulate dirt bikes and mini-motorcycles. Under the proposal in the City at that time, violations could result in a $1,000 fine for a first offense, $1,500 for a second violation and $2,000 for third and subsequent violations. Any ATV would also be subject to seizure and forfeiture to the City.
Police Sgt. Mike Sturdevant told the committee at their meeting Monday that he reviewed of the call management system and found that between September 1st and October 14th, 47 incidents were document. That accounted for both resident complaints and issues spotted by officers. He says dealing with ATVs consume a lot of police efforts. He notes that Rogers Park is a big problem area.
Sturdevant added that officers are limited in their ability to stop users because of the state pursuit policy. They can not pursue ATVs. Sturdevant says the users know that and taunt the officers. They can track these vehicles to where they are parked, including at gas stations.
He's meeting with New Haven officials today to address this issue because that City recently adopted legislation and says it's working well.