June 27, 2012
PA Will Allow Wildlife Officers to Issue Tickets for State Motor Vehicle Violations
By Chad Love
Should wildlife officers have the power to write tickets for state motor vehicle violations when they find someone illegally riding an ATV on state lands? Everyone knows that if you get caught riding an ATV in a non-motorized area that you'll get fined for it.
Problem is, those fines don't seem to be much of a deterrent for some. So the state of Pennsylvania is set to give its wildlife officers the power to issue tickets not only for riding in an unauthorized area, but also for state motor vehicle violations.
From this story in the Pocono Record:
In a matter of hours Saturday, a wildlife conservation officer patrolling state game lands in Shohola issued tickets to seven ATV riders. All-terrain vehicles are not allowed on any state game lands. But the threat of a fine of between $100 and $200 does not deter riders from tearing up trails in popular no-ride-zones like at the top of Camelback Mountain in Monroe County.
And when riders are caught on state game lands, officers often find them without proof of registration, insurance, or not wearing a helmet. However, under current law, officers do not have authority to enforce summary offenses of the motor vehicle code. That's about to change. The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday preliminarily approved giving wildlife conservation officers the authority to issue citations for riders in violation of the motor vehicle code.
Thoughts? Will this help stem illegal ATV use on state lands or should wildlife cops stick to wildlife violations? On the other hand, maybe riding an ATV illegally on state land is a wildlife violation?