Complaints about ATV and dirt bike usage forced local law enforcement to use the city’s Code Red message system to call residents Tuesday, Sept. 24.

The message reinforced the city’s ban on ATV and dirt bike usage on city streets and in city open space.

“Operation is only allowed on private property with the written permission of the land owner,” according to the message. “The written permission must be carried by the ATV operator. State statute and city ordinances allow the police to arrest ATV operators that are in violation, and seize and, or possibly destroy the ATV or dirt bike.”

Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, Jr., said the illegal use of these vehicles, particularly on city trails, is “out of control.”

“This is wrong, and it is particularly upsetting for the trails workers, who spent countless hours cleaning the trails only to have these people on ATVs tear it all up again,” said Anglace. “And when these people are confronted, they are obstinant, and we’re just not putting up with it any more.”

Shelton Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said the department has received numerous complaints about ATV and dirt bike usage on city streets and along the trails.

Kozlowsky asked any resident who comes in contact with such activity to, if safely possible, take photos or video of the incident and provide police any identification of the individuals involved and addresses from which they have driven.

Anglace recounted a story he was told about two residents who were walking one of the trails when they were alnmost struck by an ATV driven by a young adult. He said that when the couple confronted the driver, that person began to argue with the resident. Anglace said one of the walkers even filmed the incident, and the video is on social media.

“The law is clear,” said Anglace. “There is no ATV use on the trails or city roads, and the law allows the city to confiscate on the first offense. I have no sympathy for these people, and we will confiscate the ATV. There is no excuse for this behavior.”

The Code Red message concluded with a request that ATV and dirt bike owners comply with city ordinances and state statutes regarding the use of such vehicles on city-owned property.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com