Police to crack down on ATV riding and camping in North Port

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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 5:49 pm | Updated: 10:34 pm, Fri Apr 26, 2013.

SARASOTA COUNTY - North Port Police say they'll be out in full force this weekend cracking down on illegal ATV riding and camping in the city. It's an issue they say has gotten out of hand lately. Many riders say there's simply no other place to go.

Police Chief Kevin Vespia says his department is gearing up for a growing problem on the weekends east of town. "There are a lot of people there -- and not many from North Port -- riding their ATV's in the roadways, in the swales...it's not legal."

Camp sites have caused fires. Recently a rider had to be taken by Bayflight after an accident. "We will be enforcing the city ordinance. We will be enforcing the trespassing statute. We will enforcing all state laws when it comes to rising on the roadways, riding on the swales, rising on public lands. There will be zero tolerance on the enforcement."

Kevin Vaughn likes to ride. As the president of the North Port Off Road Association, he says there is an issue with partying there. "We don't go near the problem area because we know it's a problem area. We don't want to be there and get hurt ourselves."

However, he says responsible riders have few choices. "There is a big gap from Brooksville south to Miami. There is just no place to ride."

Creating a legal riding area is something he says the city starving for visitors should look at once again. "We spoke with the city manager and city commission years ago about getting a place. It all just fell by the wayside."

"What I can tell you is we do not right now. We are going to enforce our laws." For now Chief Vespia says they've even tracked down property owners in the undeveloped areas to make sure permission has not been given. Saying it's pretty simple. "If you don't own the land, you don't know who the owner is, and you don't have permission to be on it, then you shouldn't be on it."

North Port police say they are going to be in the area all weekend and beyond.

The Redneck Yacht Club in Punta Gorda does allow four wheel vehicles but not motorcycles. A new park near there is in the works.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • melyndaryan6 posted at 6:22 pm on Tue, Jun 4, 2013.

    melyndaryan6 Posts: 1

    I have been going out to this area since I was 10 now im am 22 and I take my three year old out there to swim the lake is beautiful and not to bad and people clean up after them selfs around this area I think the cops should find something better to do then destroy some ones fun time ..people get hurt IT happens it says on most atvs and motor bikes that it is dangerous to ride ..... you cant punish every one for a couple stupid people ....I think the police should re think what there really DOING OUT THERE .... ITS JUST ANOTHER NUMBER TO THEM !

  • Whinni The Pooh posted at 11:46 am on Thu, May 2, 2013.

    Whinni The Pooh Posts: 3

    to yeahright if you are a property owner out there like you say you are then fence your property and no one will ride on your lot. get over it you DONT speak for all out ther.
    I personally know a few of the property owners out there and they say as long as the property does not get destroid beyond beliefe then why not let people use it
    we are not hurting anyone. now i agree riding on the roads problem
    and if the city or county wants to make it a big deal to ride on THEIR swals or ditches then so be it
    the problem is the underage kids that trash the place and ride extreamily stupid and drink while riding. all this is is a way for the town of north port to collect funds and show the state that they are a money making community. they are doing it in all the wrong ways but hey thats the law enforcement for ya

  • yeahright_1 posted at 3:43 pm on Tue, Apr 30, 2013.

    yeahright_1 Posts: 1

    If the right reason is to trespass and destroy other peoples property and quiet environment then ya'll did just that. You have made living in the area of the 'Outback' for US as miserable as you possibly could for YOUR enjoyment. We property owners will now apply as much pressure to the Police and City Council to correct this problem from now on. AND, that is exactly how we view this - An Ongoing Problem for the property owners who feel they are under attack from the ATV abusers.

  • FL DAWG posted at 8:40 am on Tue, Apr 30, 2013.

    FL DAWG Posts: 3

    "ts hard to Find something To Do these Days for little To no Money"
    ATV's are cheap and don't require regular gas and maintenance?
    "Its Going to suck if we Cant ride out There anymore. But Anything For The State to make money."
    This is private property. The state is enforcing property rights law.

    Give me a break your view on the subject is so biased.

  • candyce posted at 1:50 am on Sat, Apr 27, 2013.

    candyce Posts: 1

    I knew this was coming. It only takes a few people to screw it up for everyone else. Some of us go out To areas like yorkshire for fun. Because 1 ryc costs money And 2 ryc isnt open All The Time. and its hard to Find something To Do these Days for little To no Money. also MOST of us go out There for The right reasons, to have good safe fun With friends And family. not Everyone is out there Acting A Fool, destorying property. Like With Ryc you Ride at Your own Risk. And like At ryc Some people drink And Ride, but Thats not everyone. We Actually Went out Riding with our kids and Friends from Time to Time And have ever been scared for our saftey due other Riders or Seen Any Accidents. A Lot of The problems out There come From the underaged kids That go out There At night To hang out And party. Anyway i guess thats my little Vent on The subject. Its Going to suck if we Cant ride out There anymore. But Anything For The State to make money.


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