Even though there’s a law prohibiting ATVs from driving on public and conservation properties, even though there are signs prohibiting driving on such trails, even though fines for violating those laws have been increased, it just doesn’t seem to make any difference.

ATV riders continue to tear down the signs, vandalize the property, and as for the law, they just ignore that.

The most recent account comes from Westminster, Mass.

A story in today’s Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise describes the plight of people trying to protect the trails at the town’s conservation and recreation areas.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the new Massachusetts law July 31. It attempts to bring ATV use under some form of control. It’s a good idea, and a good law. Other New England states are wrestling with the same problem.

Enforcement is the issue. Local and state police officers have more important things to do than chasing after some ATVs.

Maybe it’s time for citizen action, in the form of photographing and/or filming ATVs and vehicles carrying ATVs at restricted areas, and filing complaints with the local conservation and/or police station. Would it be possible to get them to issue summons? Even if it’s not enough to formally prosecute, maybe the hassle would be enough to sow down the destruction.

Just a thought.

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