ATVs have become an increasing menace in Philadelphia. You can feel about these the same way you feel about people carrying handguns on the street: How the hell did it even begin? At 5:30PM on Tuesday night in West Philly (39th and Poplar), a twenty-two-year-old rider was clipped by a van and lost control of his ATV. He spun into a fence before slamming into a building, and was pronounced dead later at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Ok, yes, these things are fun to ride (even the French love them). but for some reason, in Philadelphia, ATV riders have grown to be reckless and at times, a menace.
Philadelphia Police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore confirmed that ATVs on the street are, indeed, illegal: “When we are safely able to stop them, we confiscate them. The problem is safely stopping them. A lot of these things take off, and they can go down narrow alleys, on sidewalks, the wrong way on streets. The only thing pursuing them does is create more of a hazard.”
Accidents aren’t the worst ATV-related incidents that have occurred in recent Philadelphia news. On Monday, September 14th, in Kensington (Hurley and Ontario), a driver in a Mercury Sable encountered a group of eight to ten ATV riders who were blocking a road. He shouted and honked at them to move, which lead to an argument (naturally), but the incident took a horrific, unnatural turn: The ATV riders began to throw objects at the twenty-nine-year-old driver and began to chase his car as he drove away. The driver crashed into several parked vehicles and began to flee the scene on foot. The ATV riders proceeded to chase him, knock him down, and run over his body several times. So far, no arrests have been made, and no suspects have been apprehended. The driver remains in critical condition at Temple University Hospital.