ATVs, dirt bikes causing problems on Greensboro streets

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Revving their engines through the city of Greensboro. ATVs and dirt bikes are causing problems on the streets.

Cellphone and surveillance video caught ATVs popping wheelies along Elm Street in downtown Greensboro earlier this month.

People tell FOX8 they’ve brought complaints to the Greensboro Police Department, but these off-road vehicles continue to race through their communities.

Police say it’s not always easy to pursue and apprehend the offenders.

“We are really trying to make a tough decision and make sure we weigh public safety as a whole,” said Capt. J.W. Thompson, with the Greensboro Police Department.

Thompson says the vehicles’ mobility amplifies the problem.

“Those groups are moving. They don’t go someplace and then sit. So we could get calls on Gate City Boulevard, we get officers out there and now they are downtown, there are officers that get downtown and now they’ve moved into another neighborhood,” Thompson said.

Police are trying to solve the problem by talking with riders before they get on the road.

“Gather intelligence, find out who is operating these vehicles before they come out, and we have a conversation or intervention with those folks before they get out,” Thompson said.

Social media is also a big motivator for riders, but police want people to understand this problem is more serious than just young kids having fun.

“They know that they are out and they know they are violating the law, especially when an officer goes to intervene they stop them and they run. They know they are violating the law at that point,” Thompson said.

Police want to remind everyone that riding an ATV on the road is a traffic violation. Criminal charges are a possibility and they can seize the ATV if needed.

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