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Acadia Parish deputies cracking down on ATVs driving illegally on public roadways

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ACADIA PARISH, La. (KLFY) – If you drive an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) like a  our wheeler on the roadways in Acadia Parish, you may want to reconsider your vehicle of choice.
 
Deputies with the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office are cracking down on the illegal use of ATVs on roadways, after receiving a number of complaints from residents across the Parish.
 
Sheriff Gibson says there’s no laws regarding operating ATVs on a roadway, the only ‘law’ is that they’re simply not allowed too…
 
“It’s just a constant fear that I’m going to have to come scoop someone off the ground,” said Dineen Constantin.
 
She’s lived on Section Ave. in the El Chappuis subdivision in Rayne for 25 years now.
 
“This has happened in the past couple of years and it’s just escalated,” she said.
 
Constantin and her neighbors have had problems with all-terrain vehicles, loudly racing up and down her road at all hours of the night.

She says it’s sometimes as many as 6 or 7 at a time.
 
“With babies, no helmets. Never seen one with a helmet on, even with an infant in their arms. One with 4 people on it. I’ve never seen 1 of them with a helmet,” she said.
 
“Look we’re not trying to take fun away from anybody, we’re just trying to say, ‘Be reasonable about what you do,'” said Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson.
 
The Sheriff’s Office says they’re getting most of their complaints about children driving those four wheelers in the street, cutting off other vehicles and almost getting hit.
 
“And that’s where the concern comes in, it doesn’t matter what age they are, an ATV is not meant for a roadway, it’s not licensed,” said Sheriff Gibson.
 
His deputies have begun citing drivers over 17 caught using the ATVs or four wheelers in the streets. 
Children under 17 are cited and then brought back to their parents said the Sheriff.
 
“What if I don’t see them and I back out into a four wheeler? You know that’s not technically my fault, because they’re (ATVs) not supposed to be on the roadway. But I’m still going to feel bad,” said Constantin.
 
Gibson says they will start impounding the 4 wheelers if necessary, saying it’s an ongoing safety issue.
 
“The last thing we want to do is write our citizens tickets for this, but we really need them to start complying, because it’s becoming an issue and someone’s going to get severely hurt,” said Sheriff Gibson.

He says the Federal Farm Act does allow farmers to use ATVs in a certain radius around their farm.
So you can use the ATVs there or on your personal property, just not on any public roadways.
 
Gibson says if you’re you’re cited for using an all-terrain vehicle, depending on which public roadway you’re driving it on, the fines could range from $200 to $300.
Or your ATV will be impounded until you face your day in court.

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