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Oyster Bay town board to vote on banning ATVs from beaches

An ATV vehicle is seen being driven near

An ATV vehicle is seen being driven near the North Hempstead Aerodrome in Port Washington on Sunday, Apr. 2, 2017. Credit: Steven Sunshine

The Town of Oyster Bay is proposing to ban all-terrain vehicles from town beaches and other property.

A vote on a resolution to bar them is scheduled during Tuesday’s town board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Town Hall East.

The measure is needed “given the critical function that our dunes and sands play, not only in the aesthetics of the experience of the beach, but also in guarding against storm surge, and storms generally,” Deputy Town Attorney Matthew Rozea said during an Aug. 15 public hearing on the proposal.

Rozea said the proposed law is needed to “protect our environment, preserve our natural resources and ensure that those resources are available for all to enjoy for years to come.”

He added that the measure includes an exemption for law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and other first responders. It doesn’t regulate ATVs on streets, which police have jurisdiction over.

Rozea said the measure also protects beachgoers.

“By eliminating the presence of an all-terrain vehicle in a place like the beach, where people are focused on the water rather than what’s surrounding them, we’re eliminating the risk that an all-terrain vehicle could come along and strike them or cause other damage,” he told board members.

Supervisor Joseph Saladino said injuries on town property often lead to lawsuits against the town, so the proposal would help prevent costly legal payments.

Rozea said after the meeting that he’s unaware of injuries involving ATVs on town beaches, but that the town wants to be proactive.

North Hempstead earlier this year voted to prohibit ATVS on town property. Suffolk and Nassau counties already have ATV bans on public property.

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