NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Safety concerns have been raised at city beaches.
One mother says the way Parks Department officers ride their ATVs on the beach could get somebody hurt. She wants it to stop before that happens, and she’s getting support from others in her community.
The first night of summer called for a band, bike riding and sun bathing at Rockaway Beach in Queens.
“We come all the time, we like to spend our weekends here,” Torey Schnupp said.
Schnupp has never liked the fact that city parks employees patrol the beach on vehicles by weaving in and out of people on the sand. She said that on Sunday, it posed a danger to her daughters.
“One came within six to eight inches of running my daughter’s legs over,” she said, “I’ve seen them run over blankets, but this was really my breaking point.”
She said fresh tire tracks show how close the ATVs came to her kids. Schnupp is not nearly the first to complain.
“It’s a fatality waiting to happen,” John Cori said.
Cori is the President of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, and said they’ve been fighting it for years, but it’s never been this bad.
“They should stay in emergency access lanes during swim hours, and they’re not,” he said, speaking exclusively with CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
The parks department said the ATVs are driven by highly trained parks officers, and the vehicles allow them to enforce park rules.
CBS2 has pressed the Parks Department for an on camera interview about this for two days. Nobody wanted to answer direct questions face to face, but a spokesperson said that in over 20 years of operating ATVs on the sand, nobody has ever been hit.
It’s not good enough for one fed up mom.
“A child is going to get injured or killed, and it’s gonna be on the Parks Department,” Schnupp said.
She wonders why wait for a tragedy to make a change?