More video shows ATV riders on interstate in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Additional cell phone video sent to FOX 8 of people driving ATV's on the interstate reveals the growing problem for the New Orleans Police Department and drivers.

The videos show ATV drivers pop wheelies and perform donuts in the middle of rush hour traffic, as well as travel up to 70 mph without proper equipment or registrations.

A FOX 8 viewer sent in a video recorded last summer on I-510 in New Orleans East as a crew of ATV and dirt bike riders drove toward the old Jazzland Theme Park.

Another video captured last week shows two ATV riders popping wheelies and driving in between lanes during 5:30 p.m. rush hour traffic, while drivers converge at the I-10/610 merge headed toward the High Rise.

The two recorded instances surfaced after a video of man doing donuts on I-10 went viral on Facebook.

"So many people are like this is crazy. This is insane," Alicia Conforto said about her post. "I have a lot of family that live in different areas and across the U.S. and even Italy and they're like we've never seen anything like this."

The riders also drive on public streets illegally and often disregard traffic signs creating a hassle for drivers and people who drive the streets of New Orleans for a living.

"I hate that," bus driver Paul Washington said. "You know they're always in my way. I can't stand that. Why don't they do nothing about that? It needs to stop."

"You're not only running a danger to yourself but everybody else on the road. They can't see you if it's dark because it does not have lights. You're putting many people in danger. That's why those types of vehicles are not allowed on the roadway if they're not equipped properly and they're not registered," State Trooper Melissa Matey said.

Matey said state police have received complaints recently about ATV drivers on the interstate in New Orleans. But she said troopers cannot respond because the complaints are within the incorporated area of New Orleans, and she said troopers cannot respond to calls in those areas, only assist when asked.

Troopers will stop anyone who they observe driving an ATV illegally.

State police forward those complaints to the New Orleans Police Department.

"If you see hazardous situations like that, please call 911 so they can get the police out there to investigate that type of activity immediately," Matey said.

New Orleans police say officers are trained to stop people illegally driving ATV's on public streets and the interstate, but officers are told to use precaution if pursuing an ATV because it could lead to more damage for the rider or someone else.

It is possible to make an ATV street-legal.

State police say the vehicle must have head lights, break lights, turn signals and a license plate. The driver must also have registration, insurance documents and must wear a helmet when riding.

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