Tyrone Borough police to use “un-orthodox” methods to catch unlawful all-terrain vehicle riders

As the warmer weather sets in, many motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle riders are dusting the seats off of their machines in preparation of another riding season.
The Tyrone Borough Police Department is encouraging riders to be safe this riding season and respect the residents of the community and their property.
“We really do receive a lot of complaints about this,” said police chief Joe Beachem. “Most of the calls that come in are people worried these riders are going to cause an accident, but there are plenty of property damage complaints as well.”
According to Beachem, the police force recently sat down to discuss tactics to deal with unlawful ATV and motorcycle riders in the borough.
“We’ve developed a couple different tactics for dealing with the problems this year,” said Beachem. “Of course I don’t want to go into any of that, but I will say there will be some un-orthodox methods.”
Beachem said the most important reason for the crackdown is safety, but also noted that too much property damage occurs when riders operate their vehicles on privately owned land, including driveways.
“We don’t want to be hard on people, but we have to look out for the whole community,” said Beachem. “We want to make sure everyone gets home safe at the end of the day.”
According to Corporal Keith M. Husar of the Pennsylvania State Police, many riders and owners don’t know all the requirements associated with ATVs and motorcycles.
He said that all ATVs must be registered and display a valid registration decal. The only exception to this is if the ATV is operated exclusively on the ATV owner’s property. A new registration decal is required every two years.
Owners who decide to sell their ATV must, within 15 days, return the registration certificate with the name and address of the new owner endorsed on the back. The purchaser then has 15 days to purchase a new registration certificate.
Husar said an ATV cannot be operated on any street or highway that is not posted as an ATV road. In order to cross a highway, an ATV operator must bring his or her ATV to a complete stop before crossing the highway at a 90-degree angle.
No rider should ride on private property without the consent of the land owner. ATVs are also restricted on state-owned property, except in cases where designated roadways for ATVs are available.
Riders under the age of 16 are not permitted to drive an ATV across any highway unless he or she is under the direct supervision of someone at least 18 years of age.
If the young rider holds a valid safety certificate issued by the commonwealth, crossing the road is OK.
Riders aged 10 to 15 can only ride an ATV legally in the commonwealth if he or she meets one of three conditions.
These are: If the rider is under the supervision of an ATV safety instruction during a safety course; if the rider is on land owned or leased by his or her legal guardian; or if the rider has received an appropriate safety certificate, which must be in the rider’s possession.
In addition, Husar noted the following points:
•No person shall operate an ATV in a careless manner as to endanger any person or property of another, or at an unsafe speed or while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
•No person shall operate an ATV with any bow and arrows or with any firearms unless it is unstrung or unloaded. No one shall pursue any game or wildlife while operating an ATV;
•All ATVs shall have a headlight and tail lights and they must be operational. All ATVs must have operational brakes, either foot or hand; and
•All ATVs must have a muffler and the muffler cannot be modified to increase sound level.
Husar said anyone who violates any of the above regulations commits a summary offense and upon conviction pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 plus the costs of prosecution. In default of payment, the violator could be imprisoned for not more than 10 days.
Any subsequent offense and the violator would pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300 plus the costs of prosecution. In default of payment, the violator could be imprisoned for not more than 30 days.
Husar also said the owner of an ATV who permits a violation of any of these regulations would be subject to the same penalties.
Beachem said in many circumstances involving ATV rider infraction, multiple violations occur, sometime pushing the fines and costs over $1,000.