Legislator Norma Gonsalves (R. East Meadow) introduced and sponsored a new local law which regulates, strengthens penalties, and empowers law enforcement to seize and impound Off-Road Vehicles, Motor Scooters, and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s.) The law passed unanimously by the full legislature.
The new law named “The Mark Sattler Law” is in memory of Mark Sattler of Levittown who died in an accident involving an “ATV” on April 29, 2005
The law would make it illegal to operate Off-Road Vehicles on County property and other publicly owned property such as shopping center parking lots, school yards and public parks. In addition, the law strengthens penalties for the improper use of these vehicles by increasing fines for violations of existing restrictions, and imposes new fines for the new restrictions. It also empowers law enforcement to seize and impound these vehicles when used in violations of the law.
Part of the law would also call for truth in selling and advertising from retailers who must inform buyers of the restrictions.
“There are too many Off-Road Vehicles today that are being used by unlicensed young people whose safety is always at risk,” stated Legislator Gonsalves. The numbers of accidents and serious injuries have been increasing over the last five years. “Parking lots, schools, fields and shopping centers are not the place for these vehicles. They are not only a weapon in the hands of a young person but also a possible menace for passing motorists and pedestrians,” continued Gonsalves.
It has been reported that 40% of related injuries between 2000 and 2005 were suffered by young persons 15 years old and under.
Legislator Gonsalves warned, “We can not tolerate young adults at this alarming rate doing damage to themselves or others. In some neighborhoods they are a menace to local residents.” A similar warning was voiced to Off-Road Vehicle users by saying, “Local laws keep you off the roads and highways, now you will not be allowed to drive on large public property lots which have become drag-racing venues.”