Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Albuquerque Police are cracking down on SUVs

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – Albuquerque police are cracking down on all-terrain vehicles that are being driven on roads and highways.

Police officers announced Monday that officers will be instructed to cite and tow all illegally driven ATVs without exception.

Police found that a 7-year-old boy was hit by an illegal SUV on a city street earlier this month while his family was using a crosswalk. An arrest warrant was issued against a 27-year-old man in this case.

Deputy Chief Mike Smathers said police saw an increase in off-highway vehicles on the city’s streets over the past year.

Another police officer, Nick Wheeler, said police watched SUVs being driven in packs, some even driving on sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to get out of the way.

Wheeler admitted that efforts to quote drivers have fallen short in the past.

“You can go to places that police patrol vehicles can’t go,” Wheeler said of ATVs.

To date, officials have not issued subpoenas for their use on the city streets, he said, adding, “Everything we tried to stop them has failed.”

Smathers said the enforcement effort will include the use of airplanes and ATVs to track fleeing ATVs.

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