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The Delano Police Department is cracking down on ATV drivers in public service roads

DPD has seen an increase in ATV drivers in roadways. In order to combat this, they have been utilizing a bigger police presence to lower the number of incidents
Posted at 6:05 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 15:27:51-04

DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — The Delano Police Department is saying "no more" to ATV riders in service roads and is utilizing a bigger police presence to cite drivers and tow their vehicles.

  • Off road vehicles have become a more common sight on service roads in Delano.
  • In the past six months there’s been 78 total incidents of Off Highway Vehicles on service roads
  • Chief Nicholson says the department has been utilizing more officers during when they believe is the peak drive time for ATV riders and have also been sending officers in unmarked vehicles to try and apprehend more people.

Minibikes, dirt bikes, side-by-sides, and all-terrain vehicles driving in places they’re not supposed to have become a growing issue in the city of Delano. The community has been voicing their concerns on social media and the Delano Police Department has seen an increase in the number of calls received.

“In the past 6 months, we’ve had 78 incidents of off road vehicles in the city of Delano,” said Chief of Police for Delano P.D. Jerry Nicholson. “Five of those resulted into a pursuit which was discontinued.”

Chief Nicholson says although officers want to remove these riders off the road, there are too many safety concerns that have ultimately led to its cancellation.

“Some of them don’t have helmets on, some of them don’t have the protective gear, and so if we’re chasing them they’re inevitably going to increase their own speed which endangers not only them but other motorists on the roadway,” said Chief Nicholson.

It’s been a growing conversation on social media throughout the community. With people sharing their experiences, witnessing kids driving ATV’s and others claiming to have almost been hit by ATV drivers.

“Most of the time, they don’t stop for stop signs, they don’t stop for traffic signals, they create a danger for other citizens,” said Chief Nicholson.

Chief Nicholson says in order for an ATV to be driven on the road safely, it has to be a tagged vehicle through the DMV, it must be determined fit to drive on the road, and has to be insured.

He says the department has been able to decrease the number of incident by creating operations during when they believe is peak drive time for ATV riders.

“We have numerous investigators, detectives, traffic officers, that will go out in unmarked vehicles and look for the ATV’s in areas that are prominent for the off road vehicle users,” said Chief Nicholson.

Chief Nicholson says the department has also recently purchased two drones to help avoid potential traffic accidents and follow them through the sky.

However, the chief says none of their tactics matter unless the public comes forward with information.

“When we have officers in the street, we can’t be everywhere in the city at one time,” said Chief Nicholson. “So, what we are asking the public to do is if you have a neighbor or if you have someone on your street that rides these off road vehicles and you’re tired of it, call us.”

To report any Off-Highway Vehicles on public roads, contact the Delano Police Department at (661) 721-3377. You can also submit an anonymous tip to Delano P.D at (661) 721-3369.


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