LPD reminds locals of dirt bike regulations

Published 9:19 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

After a motor vehicle collision involving a dirt bike occurred earlier this month, the LaGrange Police Department is reminding citizens about dirt bike safety. LPD Lt. Mark Kostial said one fatality involving a dirt bike and one involving a bicycle occurred this year. 

“This disturbing trend involving serious injury and fatality collisions involving dirt bikes being operated on city streets and state routes will not change until parents actually want to actively parent their children,” Kostial said in an email. “If individuals don’t have a place to legally operate a dirt bike or ATV, then it is recommended that one not be purchased for their child.”

Kostial said dirt bikes can never be lawfully operated on the roadway.

“If they’re going to be operated on the roadway, they’ve got to meet certain requirements, which means they’ve got to have headlights. They’ve got to have brake lights, they’ve got to have turn signals and they’ve got to have insurance. They have to have a tag, and they’ve got to wear a helmet and then you have to have the appropriate class of license, which would be a motorcycle endorsement — none of which is happening,” Kostial said.

Off road bikes used as intended do not have to meet those requirements. The problem is that many off-road bike riders are finding their way to the roadway, Kostial said.

Most of these riders appear to be as young as 13 and old as in their early 20s, according to Kostial.

“The fact remains that they’re riding these on the roadways on occasion on thoroughfares or state routes, but quite frequently on our interior city streets,” Kostial said. “You don’t have to look any further than Forrest Avenue where we had a fatality here on the 10th of June, and we had a fatality a block away back in September of 2016.”

Children should only ride these vehicles with “adequate adult supervision” and should always wear a helmet, according to Kostial. He said parents should not let children operate these vehicles on city streets and roadways. 

Parents can be charged for children who ride dirt bikes in public with parental responsibility and allowing another to violate state law.