COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A string of motorbike and ATV drivers traveling down city streets has residents on Columbus’ west side fed up.
This comes as Columbus Police is working to crack down on reckless riders.
The Westgate Park community in Hilltop is both frustrated and fearful over loud and reckless ATV and motorbike drivers cruising at high speeds through the streets.
“It scared us, and it was disturbing,” said resident Krista Forby.
While taking her kids on a family outing to the park Tuesday, Forby said they heard and saw a group of bikers and ATV riders noisily traveling up and down the street.
“One was on a dirt bike, and another was on a four-wheeler, and then a couple hours later, there were people in the parking lot, setting off fireworks,” she said.
And it’s not the first time she or others have seen groups like this.
“They won’t even stop at the stop sign,” said resident Mark Buzar. “They’ll just keep right on going.”
Buzar has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade and said that each summer, he worries one of these bikers will crash and run into someone.
“It’s very concerning because we have children playing in this neighborhood,” he said. “They could easily be hit by one of these.”
It’s led the Columbus Division of Police to initiate “Operation Wheels Down,” which seeks out reckless ATV or motorbike drivers.
On Saturday, 11 people were arrested or summoned, with two of the arrests including felony charges, and a total of nine ATV’s and dirt bikes being impounded as evidence.
But residents here said they have yet to see any sign of these riders slowing down.
“I feel like we need at least more patrol,” Buzar said.
“They don’t pay attention to where they’re going, and they’re reckless,” Forby said. “They don’t care.”
In Columbus, reckless operation of a dirt bike or ATV is a misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $1,000, impoundment of the vehicle, and 30 days in jail.