South Fulton Police to launch new ATV unit

South Fulton Police are cracking down on the illegal use of ATVs and other off-road vehicles as the weather warms up and more riders hit the streets. FOX 5 got the first look at the type of all terrain vehicles that will soon be deployed as part of South Fulton PD'S new ATV unit.

SFPD Sgt. Nicholas Williams told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes, "Off-road vehicles, ATVs, dirt bikes, side by sides unless they're registered, and they can't be in the state of Georgia, they can not operate them on public roadways or highways."

They can only be ridden  on private property with an owner's permission. Sgt. Williams says the department's ATVs will cover alot of ground in the coming months, going where patrol vehicles can't easily maneuver.

"To follow them off road. Keep a visual of them, and ultimately follow them off road, which we can't do or don't have the capacity to do in patrol vehicles," Williams said. 

Violators found to be riding illegally, could be issued citations and have their ATVs impounded for riding an unregistered vehicle on a public roadway or without a helmet, valid insurance or a license, fleeing and eluding police, aggressive driving, failing to exercise due care or criminal trespassing.

Officers are also using drones, and working with local businesses and neighborhood associations, to access security camera footage to identify violators.

SFPD has launched a dedicated tip line that citizens can use to report illegal ATV activity. Dial (470) 552-TIPS (8477) to report a tip. Callers can remain anonymous. 

The ATV unit will also provide  assistance during search and rescue operations, and will be  used for patrolling parks and wooded areas.

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