April 29, 2012


By Christine Dempsey, The Hartford Courant

The chairman of the legislature's public safety and security committee said he will look into whether more regulation of all-terrain vehicles is needed after a 14-year-old died while riding a quad last week.

"Do we have enough laws on the books to protect people?" state Rep. Stephen Dargan, D-West Haven, asked Friday. Dargan said he will talk to other legislators and people at the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Christopher Bard died April 22 after the quad he was riding hit a closed gate in Wolcott. He and his uncle, Ronald Markeveys, had started riding about 9:30 p.m. the night before. They stopped to fish and left for home shortly before 1:30 a.m. It had started raining heavily before the accident.

Dargan said it is too late in this legislative session to propose a new law. But he will begin asking questions about ATV regulations Monday, he said on Friday.

New laws aren't always the answer, he said. Sometimes laws need to be more restrictive, other times they need to be streamlined, he said.

"Sometimes, we're reactionary more than we're visionary," Dargan said.

And sometimes, whether or not there's a law on the books, "we can't stop tragic incidents from happening."