Officials are looking at how to stop illegal ATV riders in D.C. after a video of four-wheelers on the National Mall went viral.
The riders in the video can be seen driving on the grass near the Washington Monument. By the time officers got to the scene, the riders were gone, according to the U.S. Park Police.
It is illegal in D.C. to drive four-wheelers and dirt bikes on the road, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
The incident was one of several that have recently angered both residents and officials of the District.
The viral video came after an ATV shooting last week where a man was shot and wounded by an ATV rider during a road rage dispute on Branch Avenue SE, according to D.C. police.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is cracking down on the issue, saying this reckless driving is not fun and games, as someone will be seriously hurt.
Bowser said people who are storing these bikes for friends and family need to know they can be confiscated and destroyed. She also said this is not just a D.C. problem.
“We know part of the issue with ATVs is some of them are coming from outside of the District, being stored outside of the District, being ridden by people outside of the District, fueled outside the District,” she said.
When selling these types of ATVs and dirt bikes, store owner Marina Alveno said she educates buyers about safety and the law and doesn't sell to minors.
Alveno and her husband own Scooter Solutions and Cycles in Brentwood. Despite telling buyers they can’t ride on the street, Alveno said there’s only so much they can do, as the riders can get ATVs and dirt bikes from many hard to control sources, including online.
“A lot of times they do come with parents, and you’d be surprised that parents don’t even care,” she said. “Parents have to do their part with their kids.”
According to police, the department’s no-chase policy makes enforcement difficult if not impossible. Officials are still figuring out how to safely stop these drivers in their tracks.
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