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Children driving ATVs on public roads raises concerns

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Paragould police and residents are worried about people, mainly children, driving ATVs around neighborhoods and public roads unsafely.

In a Facebook post, the department revealed that numerous people had reached out with their concerns over children driving ATVs.

The post includes several city laws on the matter, which essentially outlaws driving the vehicles on any public road.

“It’s causing concern in the residents in those areas because they’re terrified that a child is going to get struck and killed by a vehicle,” said Captain Brad Snyder.

However, neighborhoods are split on the issue.

“I’d very well sympathize with the kids to find something to do just to get out of the house,” said Lee Jameson, who frequently visits his daughter’s house in Carriage Hills.

Jameson says he understands why there are concerns for the kids, and that someone can end up hurt.

“We’re in the safety business,” Snyder said. “We’re in the prevention of serious injury or death business.”

A 15-year old Paragould girl died in an ATV crash only a couple of months ago, and Snyder said that if kids continue to ride around in densely-populated neighborhoods, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

“ATVs that aren’t going to be seen as well, operated by young people that aren’t trained to operate on public roadways with vehicles that are following the rules of the road. It’s just a whole different situation,” Snyder said.

Snyder stressed that no one at the department wants to issue tickets to kids riding ATVs and that officers will talk to parents before writing any citations.

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