TARPON SPRINGS. Fla. (WFLA) — Curtis Sanders is all for the Tarpon Springs Police Department cracking down on people riding their ATV’s and other motorized vehicles illegally, but he didn’t think that his kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews riding their four wheelers on vacant land was a violation.
He was wrong.
Recently, officers stopped and told him the kids couldn’t ride on a vacant piece of land owned by the housing authority, about four blocks from his home.
“They said that the property was owned by the housing authority, so they didn’t want the kids to ride on that property owned by the housing authority, which I feel was no problem,” Sanders said.
Major Michael Trill with the police department explained it is not legal to ride on vacant land that you don’t own or don’t have permission to use.
“You can’t really ride on other people’s property. They don’t want you there,” Trill said. “You can’t ride on public property or just ride out on the streets or on city owned property. The liability is there as well. “
Sanders said he believes a simple solution would be to build an ATV track on land vacant land within the city limits.
“No, we don’t want them to ride on the streets, but we need somewhere for them to ride,” Sanders said. “The city owns enough property, I feel, to find some place for them to ride. “
But Trill said that has its own set of issues.
“When you are talking about building something, there are environmental concerns on how you can build it, where you can build it,” he said. “And then again, if you’re building a track next to a neighborhood where it’s constant noise, those people are affected as well. “
Sanders set up a meeting with the chief of police and other members of the department seeking a solution. He believes the chief was pretty receptive.
“He’s going to help us, as the community, and the kids to find somewhere to ride,” said Sanders. “He’s not guaranteeing that we’ll have somewhere in the city of Tarpon Springs to ride, but he’s going to try to get this, try to solve this problem. “