Advertisement

ATVs creating havoc in Sportsman's Paradise

November 23, 2001|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

ATVs creating havoc in Sportsman's Paradise



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - County officials are trying to find ways to curb a problem of people riding all-terrain vehicles and tearing up property in the Sportsman's Paradise area.

The people riding the ATVs are also partying in the area and scattering trash there, said Roy Davis, Berkeley County's Alternative Sentencing director.

Sportsman's Paradise is a housing development off U.S. 11 in the northern part of the county.

The development along the Potomac River has also suffered from ATV activity, Davis said.

"They're literally destroying the banks," Davis told the Berkeley County Commissioners a week ago.

The commissioners own about 32 lots in the development.

There had been repeated problems with flooding in Sportsman's Paradise, and the commissioners received federal funds to buy out home owners to reduce the number of people who would be affected by flooding, Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said.

The commissioners discussed putting up a gate on a main road in the development to keep ATV riders out of the area, although Davis said he was not sure that would do much to correct the problem.

Advertisement

"They're going to destroy whatever we do," Davis said.

Smith said he and other county officials met with homeowners in the area to hear their complaints. Deputies have also been patrolling the area more often, although it is tough to control people riding ATVs in the area, Smith said.

Not only it is difficult to catch people riding the vehicles, but weak state laws governing their use also make it difficult to control the problem, Smith said Wednesday.

"But we do police it. We do our best," Smith said.

Last spring, the sheriff's department conducted a traffic checkpoint in the development in an attempt to catch lawbreakers and increase police presence in the area, Smith said.

Deputies made three felony arrests, including one for drugs, Smith said. A car was seized, about a dozen tickets were issued for out-of-state tags and about 10 tickets were written for various other traffic violations, Smith said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|