Dayton Landmark Homes residents complain of youth ATV riders and safety hazards

DAYTON - Residents of Sutro say their neighborhood streets are becoming drag strips for youthful off-road vehicle enthusiasts.

Speaking to the Dayton Regional Advisory Council, Landmark Homes subdivision resident Terry Colvin said the young riders are a danger and irritation to local residents.

"The Sutro School area is virtually a drag strip. They (ATV operators) do not pay attention to safety. They run stop signs. Who is liable if I hit one of them?" he asked. "They are becoming a danger, even to people walking their dogs, and it is getting worse."

Colvin said he doesn't want to see them prohibited, but if a compromise isn't reached, people could get angry and take steps to get them banned.

"There are hundreds of acres to ride on. A limit of 300 yards from homes should not be unreasonable. With the growth, we need to compromise."

Lyon County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Parsons agreed there is an increasing problem with the popular, but noisy, off-road bikes.

"The old trails are now subdivisions. The kids are traveling through the subdivisions to get to the open lands," he said. "They are riding in a large drainage area and on undeveloped lots, so there is not much we can do."

Parsons did say that if officers spot the unregistered recreational vehicles on a public road or highway they will stop them, but the owners of posted property must sign citations - if the offenders can be caught.

"If we see them on the highway we will make them walk their bikes and talk with their parents. If their driving is flagrantly excessive, we will take their bike away, but, by the time we are able to respond to a complaint from a resident, they are usually long gone."

Council member Terry Hall said a mutual understanding between riders and residents has helped alleviate similar problems in his Mark Twain neighborhood.

"This is a rural area. We have a mutual understanding they will not ride behind the homes and not up and down the streets. Once they get past the homes, they can go for it," he said. "Let them ride on the public lands as long as they're not hurting anyone."

Council Chairman Shannon Wines noted there was not much the advisory board could do about the situation, but suggested residents organize a neighborhood meeting to discuss concerns.


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