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Police: ATVs, dirt bikes disrupting traffic in Rockford

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford drivers are voicing their concern over a group of 4-wheelers causing distractions on area roads.

“My first reaction was like, ‘holy crap!’ because there was, like, three of them,” said Mattanah Israel, who caught a group of ATV drivers on her dashcam.

She had five children in her car at the time, the youngest of which is just one year old, as they were riding onto Mulford Road just north of Sandy Hollow.

“There was a car in front of me. They literally, the one with the young man and the lady, they actually cut a car off that was in front of me, four cars ahead of me, and they almost, actually, hit them,” Israel said.

Another driver said she was almost hit by a 4-wheeler on Harrison. Another said he has seen them doing wheelies down South Alpine.

Rockford’s Police Community Service Officer, Matthew Williams, says the police department knows this is happening.

“They’re riding in a pack, they’re riding recklessly, very dangerously, causing unnecessary risk to innocent bystanders or people that are coming and going to work,” Williams said. “Then, they’re riding through people’s property, causing a lot of damage, doing wheelies down the middle of the street. They’re just not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Driving on city streets in an ATV is illegal. Williams says officers have given out several tickets. He thanks the public for posting photos and videos that enable them to track the offenders down.

“We watch social media and they come up with names and places, and then we can move forward with our investigation. Like I said, if we can’t catch them on the street, then we’ll catch them at the house,” Williams said.

Williams says a 19-year-old driving a dirt bike sideswiped a semi truck on Springfield Avenue in March is still in the hospital.

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