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Alternative vehicles create issues

‘Lawnmowers are not to be driven to the HUB on a Saturday night’

Staff writer

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke expressed exasperation this week at the number of violations he and his officers have seen since the Standard Traffic Ordinance was amended to include alternative transportation vehicles.

“People really seemed to want this alternative form of transportation when we first started talking about it,” said Burke. “But there are rules that apply to the use of the alternative vehicles that are being broken and we’ve begun issuing warning tickets.”

Burke said anyone operating a golf cart, ATV, or micro-utility truck must have a valid driver’s license. Children absolutely are not allowed to operate any of these vehicles with a valid license.

“The same goes for adults,” Burke said. “Skateboards and riding lawnmowers may be operated without a driver’s license, but not the others.”

All ATV operators must wear eye protection and anyone under the age of 18 operating must wear a helmet.

“A riding lawnmower may be ridden on city streets from one mowing job to another or when being used to pull a trailer to a work site,” he added. “It cannot be used as transportation to the HUB on a Saturday night. It cannot be used to go to the bank, post office, or the grocery store.”

Burke wants residents to remember that traffic rules that apply to cars and trucks also apply to alternative transportation vehicles.

“If the sign says yield or stop, that means you, whether in a car, or on a mower, ATV, or skateboard,” he said.

He encourages anyone with questions to contact him or his officers at 983-2133 or stop by the police department to visit about questions or concerns.

“I will be happy to spell out the rules,” he said. “It may save the cost of a ticket and a trip to municipal court.”

Last modified June 4, 2009

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