The Township has received numerous complaints regarding dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles being operated on farm fields and private property without the property owners' permission. While the Township does not have any specific ordinances pertaining to these recreation vehicles, the Township does have a Noise Ordinance (Ord. 2002-3, Article 5, Section 508), to which the owners of these vehicles must adhere.
It is of great concern to the supervisors that some operators of these vehicles are exhibiting a total disregard for their neighbors and other peoples' property.
According to the PA State Police, any ATV, dirt bike or snowmobile operators who use the property of another without permission is trespassing. The trespasser is responsible for any damages caused by their presence or by reasonable attempts to apprehend them. Fines (not including costs) for various trespassing violations can amount to $1000.00 and may include a 6-month license suspension. In addition, it should be clearly understood that operation of these vehicles on state-owned and township-owned property is forbidden, except on routes clearly marked and designated for the specific type of vehicle being used.
Many of these vehicles are unlicensed, uninsured and operated by under-aged drivers, all of which are in violation of the PA Motor Vehicle Code and make the owner of said vehicle civilly liable. Complaints to the PA State Police must come directly from the property owner, after the owner has warned the offender off the property. Properly posting the land according to PADOT and the Department of Motor Vehicles regulations is considered a warning. Only then can the driver be charged with criminal trespass.
While apprehending users of ATVs, dirt bikes or snowmobiles is not easy, the PA State Police will continue to use all practical tools at its disposal to determine the identity of those who break the law.