HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
CAPTAIN STEVEN GUILLERMO
SEPTEMBER 7, 2006
Puna police have begun impounding off-road vehicles when issuing citations to individuals who illegally ride them on public roads.
Community Police Officer John Briski said officers used to just cite the operators under the section of the law that prohibits unlicensed vehicles on public roads. Under the same law, police are now impounding the vehicles and holding them as evidence until the cases go to court.
Off-road vehicles are illegal even on private subdivision roads, which are considered public because they are open to the public. Police impounded seven vehicles from the Hawaiian Paradise Park, Orchidland and Hawaiian Beaches subdivisions between August 26, 2006, and September 3, 2006. Those included four all-terrain vehicles, one go-cart, a pipe buggy and a dirt bike.
Police plan to continue the new practice indefinitely because of the danger the vehicles pose to their operators and others. Two people died in August while illegally riding off-road vehicles in Puna.
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