Nicholas Writes:

"Hello. I live in a neighborhood with many open fields and several times throughout the month, there are people who ride their four wheelers in the field across the street from my house. It really doesn't bother me that they ride these things in the field, and it doesn't even bother me when they ride them on the street as long as they are going a reasonable speed and stop or even slow down at the stop sign. The problem is when they start out at the beginning of the street and end up going in excess of 80 MPH down the street, blowing right through the stop signs. We actually had another neighbor move in whom also has a four wheeler. This neighbor however thought it was a good idea to ride the vehicle at 4AM in the morning going top speed. These vehicles are extremely loud and obnoxious when they are accelerating and consequently this woke us right out of our sleep.  I know it would be a good idea to call the police when I see them but they only seem to ride around for about 5-10 minutes and then they disappear, so if I did call the police then they wouldn't show up until after they left. I also wouldn't want them to see a patrol car sitting outside my house as I would like to remain anonymous to avoid any potential vandalism to my home.
Is there anything else I can do? Is this a problem anywhere else around the city?  Please keep in mind I am not a complainer and have only called the police in my neighborhood one time when I saw very young children throwing fireworks at each other.  Thanks for your time."

Thank you for taking the time to write Nicholas.  You know, Cape Coral is a place that naturally lends itself to outdoor motorsports such as jet-skiing and off-roading on ATVs.  The problem is that sometimes, people don't follow the law and create not only a nuisance to others, but unsafe conditions for themselves and their neighbors.  Rather than get into a long discussion about the various laws and ordinances governing ATV operation in the city limits, let us break it down to the key take-away points:

ATVs may NOT be operated on the roads and highways.

ATVS CAN be operated on an empty lot inside of Cape Coral as long as the operator has the WRITTEN permission of the property owner.  This should be carried on the operator's person in case they are challenged by law enforcement.

Our noise ordinance CAN be applied to ATV operation taking place during proscribed times.

The conditions you are describing certainly sound like not only a nuisance for you and probably others in the neighborhood, but also incredibly unsafe for everyone- operator and neighbor alike.  ATVs are not meant for on-road operation and really are not equipped for it- Lights, tires, signals, etc..  To do so is just a bad idea.

This is NOT an uncommon problem in Cape Coral, especially once the weather turns nice.  If you are having issues with this occurring in your neighborhood, we highly encourage you to contact us at (239) 574-3223 and have an officer respond.  You can remain anonymous and not have an patrol car sitting outside of your house.  Just let the call-taker know.  You are right, we may not get there at the time the riding is occurring.  However, thanks to our computer assisted dispatch system, we are able to track the number of calls we are getting to a particular area and that helps us determine if we need to direct resources to a particular area to address a concern such as yours. 

If you have a question, please submit it.  Click on the link below to "Ask CCPD."

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