DURHAM N.C. (WNCN) – Durham community members and city leaders are looking into ways to cut down on ATV riders on public roads.
Following illegal rides through multiple Triangle cities and an estimated 200 dirt bike riders in Durham on Sunday, police Chief Patrice Andrews said during a city council meeting that she is stretching resources to identify for people who ride recklessly.
“I am pulling officers to invest that are investigating violent crimes,” Andrews said. “We cannot chase them. We won’t chase them because we are not going to endanger the general motoring public’s life.”
Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal said she’s open to looking into potential facilities or trails the city might provide to give riders a place to go. O’Neal said city leaders have started discussions with local business owners to see what could be possible.
“We want to be able to put forth something that you all will use and not come and come up with something that you will not use,” O’Neal said. “Have a facility or a place where those young people can ride as a alternative avenue rather than our city streets.”
Jamal Lewis, founder of Southern Soul ATV Club, started a separate, independent group of young ATV riders with the goal of mentoring kids and teens, giving them a positive outlet.
“Behind these four wheelers, you can really reach a lot of these kids,” Lewis said. “Get them out of trouble to get them and teach them trades.”
Lewis also said he wants to see more public-use ATV trails and he’s willing to work with anyone to try and make that happen.
“Everybody can ride back there, you know, and it’d be nice because I think it’ll be safe and it’s safer than asphalt,” Lewis said.