NY Stiffens ATV trespass fines

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Yippee!
    Just saw an article that beginning Nov 1, the penalty for trespassing on posted land with an atv, is $250 fine AND 15 days in jail for the first offence.

    Strangely enough, the bill pushing for this was sponsored by a legislator from my county! I guess he must have the same neighbors as me. :happy:
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    It's a good thing. Of course I will wait for the resident trespassers to argue about why this is bad!
     

  3. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's great! I've had enough hay fields torn up by them and to think that they will get some of their own back is VERY satisfying. Unfortunately, they are hard to catch, but I keep trying. :)

    Jennifer
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The only problem is why doesnt the fine go to the property that was trespassed on instead of the local government?
     
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    That's stiff?

    I can think of a couple more steps that I don't consider particularly stiff. The ATV used to tresspass should be consfiscated. That would end the problem fairly quickly.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  6. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

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    Mike, I like your suggestion. Can I add one? How ABOUT confiscating the ATV AND charging a fine equal to the cost of that ATV when it was brand new? That way, the trespasser could pay for TWO ATV's and own NO ATV. :goodjob:
     
  7. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Personally -- and I ride ATV's and agree with this law on principle -- I also tink ATV's should be required to be licensed like motorcycles, and have oversized license plates visible at a distance. Pretty easy to track the owner down if all you have to do is take a photo of the rider, write down the license, and have the sheriff contact the DMV to get the name of the rider.

    However -- I tend to ride in a large (thousands of square miles) national forest that has an intersecting network of ATV/horse/jeep trails where it's legal to ride ATVs. Tonto also has a lot of private inholdings and small ranches peppered throughout. The ATVs we ride have a couple hundred mile range, too, so we're not always in areas we're familiar with.

    I know I, personally, have strayed onto posted private land by accident at least once while on foot, because I was on a technical stretch of trail and the @#% landowner had put the "no trespassing" sign several feet above eye-level and several feet from the trail. It was real visible if you looked right at it. Unfortunately, I was more worried about not falling off a cliff than looking for signs hanging in the trees. The landowner threatened me with a shotgun ... I never saw the sign until he angrily pointed at it. (And I was simply on foot with a backpack loaded down with camera gear, doing landscape photography.)

    It would be very easy, if I was on a technical stretch of trail, to not see a "no trespass" sign even right beside the trail, because I'm focusing on not flipping the ATV, or catching a tire on a sharp rock, or scraping myself into a tree, or ... yeah. You get the idea. And I'm tired and I have sweat in my eyes and my hand's got a cramp in it to the elbow ... and oops, I just drove past a sign and didn't see it. Obviously, tearing up a hay field is another matter ... but it's very easy to accdiently stray onto posted land just by pure accident. I can't see throwing someone in jail for 15 days because they missed a sign, or taking a $6-7000 vehicle away because they goofed. And it IS easy to make mistakes when riding. (On the other hand, if someone cuts a fence or is on obviously cultivated land, that's another story ... the area I ride in is mostly wilderness.)

    Leva
     
  8. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Well, I guess I've heard "oops" one too many times....

    Hopefully this law will force folks who were otherwise too distracted - that posted signs are important and you darn well need to focus on them.
    Part of safe and responsible riding means not going too fast for the conditions, and paying attention to where you are going.

    The attitude you just described shows that posted signs were low on your priority list of concerns. Thats why I LOVE this law.
    Keeping off my land may not be that important to you. Keeping out of jail might be....

    BTW, New York states laws regarding how to legally post your land are very stringent.
    In order for a landowner to prosecute, the signs have to be visible, have legible contact info, be placed a certain distance apart, etc.
    Sloppy signage will not land you in jail.
     
  9. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    I can understand this, after all New York State is just one BIG suburb of New York! :stars:

    Hay Fields in New York state? :nana:
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Huh? I have driven through NY and IL... both have very rural and rugged areas, but NY has more.
     
  11. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of a fine and confiscation. Here we're still at a $25 fine IF you can get the police to even respond which is unlikely. The ATVers consider it to be the price of admission. One farm we rent is about 60 acres along the side of a village of about 30 houses, almost every house has at least one ATV on their half to one-acre lot. Any guesses where their playground is?
     
  12. HankSnow

    HankSnow Hobby Farmer/Rat Racer

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    Well Zeal beat me to it. Once you get upstate, you start to get into farming country, lots of dairy farms, but they are disappearing quickly.

    We are the number 3 state in the country for producing dairy products. Our top 5 ag. exports in terms of importance are: 1) Dairy products; 2) greenhouse/nursery products; 3) hay; 4) cattle; and 5) apples.

    I sell hay from my acreage in addition to what I raise for my beef cattle.

    I've lived in Wisconsin, Hawaii, Montana, Colorado, Massachusetts and New York, and I wasn't aware that farmers in any state looked upon people driving through their fields and destroying their crops favorably. Back in Buffalo Co., WI where I grew up, there was a man who shot and killed a fool who drove through his corn field in a pickup.
     
  13. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    if you catch one of these individuals with more money than brains on your hay field destroying it, why not take them to small claims court and sue them for the cost of the hay you lose as well as the cost of the repair to the land. Once word gets out, they will find another place to go! I know this much, if they decided to get on my hayfield i would consider the crop for that year sold!
     
  14. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Cygnet,

    No sympathy from me on your post. I've heard too many lame excuses and lies to be sympathetic. You have the obligation to stay off my (or anyone elses) properly posted property. You say "oops I made a mistake".... I say the guy with the shotgun should be allowed to use your ATV for target practice. The problem would go away real quick if ATVs were confiscated.....either people on ATVs will learn to respect property lines or they will go the way of the dinosaur.

    I don't pay the mortgage and taxes for your convenience. I don't spend countless hours creating and maintaining trails on my property for your benefit. I'm sure that there are nice reasonable property respecting ATV riders around.....they just don't happen to be the folks who show up at my place.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  15. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    " I also tink ATV's should be required to be licensed like motorcycles, and have oversized license plates visible at a distance. Pretty easy to track the owner down if all you have to do is take a photo of the rider, write down the license, and have the sheriff contact the DMV to get the name of the rider."

    I give a great big thumbs up for this suggestion. I would like to see that for snowmobiles also. What part of private property don't people who use these things understand? I have often thought I should get in my truck and follow them home and do wheelies on their front lawns. :nana:
     
  16. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you read my post, you would have seen that I was ON FOOT when I ran into Mr. Shotgun Man, and the sign was well above eye level. (Also in a very overgrown canyon.) They also had a major pot bust -- largest plantation ever found in the US in a canyon in a national forest -- in the area a month ago, so I may have run into a guard for that and I may well have been on public land. (For the Arizonans, this was in the Fossil Creek area.)

    I'm a responsible rider/hiker/etc. and I DO NOT stray onto private land deliberately. I also haven't strayed onto private land to my knowledge on an ATV, but it happens and it's possible. My father did last week & ended up at someone's house, and turned around when he realized where he was. I also stay on roads/trails and don't cut cross country. I'm not destructive. However, I've also seen a lot of "no trespassing" signs that are small, not obvious, and well off the trail.

    If you have land that looks just like the public land that's open for ATVing and you don't want people following the road onto your property -- put a GATE across the road and mark it with a BIG sign. A cowboy gate works perfectly fine and will only cost you a few feet of barb wire ... If someone goes through the gate, then nail 'em. Sure. Because they knew better. A gate is an obvious clue.

    But if I'm on a ROAD that turns out to be your driveway but looks no different than a thousand miles of back country roads open for ATCs, I somehow missed the sign or there is no sign, and I'm polite and say, "Oops, sorry, I'll leave, apologize for disturbing you! Have a nice day!" and I leave, and I cause no damage except for a bit of momentary noise -- I DO NOT think that fifteen days in jail, a fine, and taking away a machine that costs as much as a small car fits the crime. I haven't hurt anything, and I won't be back. *shrug*

    By the way, if you've never ridden an ATV, you may not realize it, but it's critical to watch WHERE YOU'RE GOING on a rough trail. You can flip and wreck in moments. I haven't, to my knowledge, missed a "no trespass" sign though I almost have a few times. (An index card sized sign tacked to a tree well off the trail is not obvious ... but does count as "posted property.") If I'm on a technical rocky trail, I'm probably not doing more than 5mph.

    I'm the first one to scream and throw a fit if someone repeatedly drives an ATC across my property after being warned not to. Had a neighbor kid who used to do that, and when I added a "no trespassing for motorbikes/ATCs" sign in bold letters above my house numbers at the end of my driveway, the kid stole my entire sign, including the expensive lighted house numbers. Someone later sabotaged his bike ... not me, though I got the blame from his mom because I'd cussed him out a few times.

    So I understand the aggravation of people who don't respect private property. But I've also had people stray up my driveway, thinking it's a public road, missing my no-trespassing sign (the property line isn't obvious and they probably thought it didn't apply to the road) and then realize where they are, wave, turn around, and go back. I generally wave back as they go. A few have stopped to talk, and we've ended up friends. An ATV buzzing up my driveway isn't actually doing me any harm. (Cutting cross country ****es me off because it causes erosion and it's general bad manners to do so without permission.)

    On the flip side, I've also been riding on horseback on a right-of-way driveway to a friend's house, and had a crazy lady who lived on that road sic her dogs on me because she didn't want people riding horses on "her" land. My mare kicked her dog, and in the fray (there were four large dogs coming after me) my horse ended up in the middle of her yard. She threatened to call the cops, etc. for "trespassing" when it was her dogs chasing my horse. *grin* Animal control set her straight on that one ... (This lady took my friend to court later to try to block his friends from visiting him -- claiming only HE had the right to use the road. That was thrown out of court, but she would do things like bury spiked boards in the road to try to prevent access, with nobody ever able to prove it was her.)

    So there's all kinds of shades of grey. And the punishment shoudl fit the crime. If my only crime was to make a bit of noise in your driveway, wave, turn around, and leave, costing me (actually, my father, as they're his ATV's I ride) several thousand dollars for a few seconds of noise that may have hurt your ears is NOT punishment fitting the crime.

    Leva
     
  17. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Beautiful, Stacy!
    Hey! Is that a guy on an ATV in the top left corner?

    He,he,he.
     
  18. HankSnow

    HankSnow Hobby Farmer/Rat Racer

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    Nice Stacy! The good thing is there are great views like that all over the state. I don't think many people realize the size of our state and all the agriculture.

    Probably not worth arguing about this too much: I remember this statement by Oilpatch from an earlier thread about Montana:


    I wouldn't move to montanna, for two reasons, it's too flat, and it's TOO COLD!
     
  19. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I really wish they would crack down on the people that ride them on the road. Our nice elderly neighbor passed away & left her 200+ acre farm to her daughter & grandkids. They come out almost every weekend & instead of riding on their property, they drive up & down the road. :grit: We only have 3 1/2 acres here, but watch the property of our former landlord. She has around 180 acres. The neighbors like to ride on her ground instead of their own because she has some old horse trails & logging trails. I just want to scream at them to get on their own ground. I have had them drive into my yard after a rain. We have been nice so far because they are our new neighbors afterall. The daughter & her husband are planning on building a new house so we will have to deal with it even more. If it gets worse, I will be saying something.
    I do have another neighbor that drives his from his house past here to his homeplace to farm. I have no problem with that. He has a purpose. I do have a problem with the ones that just ride up & down the road for the fun of it. I also know around here, it will take someone getting hurt bad or killed before they crack down on it. Many times I have come around a turn planted with corn & almost ran over someone on their ATV. Around here they ride right in the middle of the road. I know several people that own an ATV & they have maybe an acre. Why would you buy one if you only owned an acre?? So little Johny has somethign to do to occupy his time. He can ride up & down the road as fast as he can with no helmet on. I see it all the time. I have several brothers that own gators. They only have 3-5 acres each. They got them to drive down the road to my dad's & ride around there when they deerhunt or just for the heck of it. I have a great fear that I will run over one of my nephews one of these days. :( We have told them & also my mom has told them about the risk of the kids on the roads, but until something happens, they will keep doing it. They think just because it is only half a mile, they will get there safe. Dad owns a sawmill & there are fully loaded log trucks coming down that road all the time. I don't think anyone should be allowed to drive them unless they have a driver's license at least. And then they should still stay off the roads!!!
    OK, off my soapbox now. :soap:
     
  20. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

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    I hope some of you never accidentally drive your car on a private street or on someone elses driveway to turn around.