A parade of several hundred ATVs and other vehicles, many not licensed for road use, sped through West Hartford and other area towns on Sunday night.
By Ronni Newton
A parade of ATVs, motorcycles doing wheelies, and souped-up vehicles, many not licensed for road use, sped through West Hartford Sunday night around 9 p.m., with engines revving and music blaring.
The vehicles were sighted in other nearby towns on Sunday night as well, and according to Capt. Eric Rocheleau they entered West Hartford from the South, from Fenn Road in Newington, headed up South Main Street to North Main Street and left town headed toward Hartford via Albany Avenue. Speed limits and traffic signals were disregarded as the vehicles streamed through town.
The Sept. 12 parade was one of the larger ones – reportedly involving at least 200 vehicles – but Rocheleau said the vehicles have been joy riding through town throughout the summer.
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In early August, another large group sped through town, driving erratically on both sides of the road and in some cases across sidewalks and lawns as they headed down Farmington Avenue and Ridgewood Road.
There was no reported property damage or injuries this Sunday, Rocheleau said, but one of the vehicles broke down during the incident. Police towed the vehicle and have it in their possession now, and he said the driver has also been identified and will be cited for traffic violations.
During a press conference that followed the early August incident, police said they are working regionally to develop solutions but there are myriad challenges. “State law prohibits the use of tire deflation devices and road blocks, as well as the ability to pursue for motor vehicle violations and property crimes,” West Hartford Police said previously.
Trying to stop a ride while it’s occurring is dangerous for the riders, and others, Assistant Chief Larry Terra said during an Aug. 2 press conference. “Remember they’re not wearing seatbelts, they have no type of protection. … It’s for their safety, it’s for officers’ safety, and more importantly it’s for the motoring public’s safety,” Terra said.
The best, and safest, thing to do if you encounter a group is just pull to the side, Terra said.
Anyone with information should contact West Hartford Police at 860-523-5203 or via the anonymous Tip Line at at 860-570-8969, or via email at [email protected].
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