KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police say illegal off-roading in Kansas City is not only dangerous but illegal.
This warning coming after an 23-year-old ATV driver was killed last week at 31st Street and Indiana Avenue.
Police said the driver was doing a wheelie driving around a vehicle that had stopped for the red traffic light.
The ATV driver crashed into the jeep, was thrown from the 4-wheeler and died. The rider was not wearing a helmet.
“Those vehicles are designed for off road, for farmland, wide open spaces, not roads with full sized trucks and semis,” said Sgt. Jake Becchina with KCPD Media Unit. “Use the roadways in the way that they were designed to be, with vehicles designed to be driven on those roadways. It could be a really dangerous situation.”
It is illegal to operate an ATV on Missouri roads and highways unless the ATV is owned and operated by the government for official use.
But police say this hasn’t deterred people.
“Predominately the things that we see that are the biggest concern are sorts of exhibition of speed, like wheelies, or driving excessive speed. Those are the most dangerous to those riders,” Becchina said. “Motorists on the roadway are not expecting to see a smaller ATV type vehicle on a city street, especially at nighttime.”
The use of dirt bikes, ATV’s and other all-terrain vehicles are experiencing a large boost since the pandemic began.
“Nobody was expecting this. The off-road business has just been booming,” said Executive Manager of Dream Machines Motorsports Aaron Vial.
Vail said the little stock he is able to secure is flying off the shelves. He’s making it his point to educate people of the dangers and rules.
“Not everybody heeds the warning that, hey, these things are fast. We’ve seen accidents, we’ve seen total losses, we’ve seen loss of life,” Vial said.
If you are caught recklessly or illegally operating an ATV, you could be fined, cited or face stricter felony-type criminal penalties if someone is injured.
To report reckless ATV driving on city streets, call 911.