Officials are investigating how to stop illegal ATV riders in DC after a video of four-wheelers on the National Mall went viral.
The riders in the video can be seen riding on the grass near the Washington Monument. By the time officers arrived on the scene, the riders had disappeared, the US Park Police said.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, it is illegal to drive four-wheelers and dirt bikes on the road in DC.
The incident was one of many that has recently angered residents and district officials alike.
The viral video came last week after an ATV shooting in which a man was shot and injured by an ATV rider during a traffic altercation on Branch Avenue SE, according to the DC Police Department.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is cracking down on the matter, saying this reckless driving is no fun and no games because someone will be seriously injured.
Bowser said people who store these bikes for friends and family should know that they could be seized and destroyed. She also said this isn’t just a DC issue.
“We know part of the problem with ATVs is that some of them come from outside the district, are stored outside the district, ridden by people outside 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 does not sell to minors.
Alveno and her husband have Scooter Solutions and Cycles in Brentwood. Despite telling buyers not to 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.
“Often they come with parents, and you’d be surprised that parents don’t even care,” she said. “Parents should do their part with their children.”
According to the police, the pursuit policy of the department makes enforcement difficult, if not impossible. Officials are still figuring out how to stop these drivers safely.