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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Police: Operating ATV’s on Public Roadways is Illegal



The Bensalem Township Police Department wants to remind residents operating an ATV on any public roadway is illegal and police action will be taken to include fines and impounding of the vehicle.

Recent reports of ATV related activities on Bensalem related social media pages led to residents asking for clarification from Township Public Safety Director, Fred Harran and police officials.

The following information was posted on Wednesday by the Bensalem Police Department in an effort to guide residents and ATV enthusiasts about the local and state laws related to ATV use.

Bensalem Police say, to make the use of ATV trails safe and enjoyable for yourself and others, please know and practice the following ATV operating rules:

Stay on designated trails and roadways Operate your vehicle in a safe and responsible manner

Place all litter in waste containers, where provided; otherwise practice the “carry-in, carry-out” procedure Wear a securely fastened helmet — it is illegal to operate an ATV without a securely fastened helmet on the head of the operator.

Any of the following activities while operating an ATV may result in a fine:

-Riding at a rate of speed that is unreasonable or improper under existing conditions or in excess of the maximum limits posted for vehicular traffic

-Riding in a careless way so as to endanger the person or property of another Riding while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or drugs

-Riding in an area, trail, roadway that is not open to ATV use

-Riding without a securely fastened helmet

Where You Can Ride your ATV in Pennsylvania:

Know before you go. It’s important you know what lands you will be riding on and if they are open to ATV use.

Contact the appropriate land management agency to find out what is open.

Generally speaking, ATVs may be operated: On private property with the consent of the owner.


State Forest ATV Trails Map

On state-owned property on clearly marked and designated trails On highways and streets when necessary to cross a bridge or culvert On highways and streets during periods of emergency when so declared by a governmental agency having jurisdiction On highways and streets for special events of limited duration that are conducted according to a prearranged schedule under permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction

On streets and highways that have been designated as “ATV or Snowmobile Roads” by the governmental agency having jurisdiction.

An ATV may make a direct crossing of a street or two-lane highway provided:

The crossing is made at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the direction of the highway, and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing The ATV is brought to a complete stop before crossing the shoulder or highway The driver yields the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard In crossing a divided highway, the crossing is made only at an intersection of such highway with another public street or highway

ATV Operators must be at least 16 years of age unless he/she has a safety certificate and is under the direct supervision of a person at least 18 years of age

Designated ATV Roads

State and local highways and roads may be designated and posted for ATVs by the government authority with jurisdiction over the road.

Township roads designated for ATVs are posted with a green sign containing the side view silhouette of an ATV and rider in white.

Some roads may be designated and posted as joint-use roads open to both ATVs and licensed motor vehicles. Joint use roads are posted with signs stating that both types of vehicles may use the road.

ATV operators on joint-use roads must be at least 16 years of age. Municipal ordinances may further regulate the use of ATVs on roads within their jurisdiction.

Private Property 

ATVs may not be operated on private property without the consent of the owner. Use of ATVs on private property may be further restricted by municipal ordinance.

Operation by Youth 

Children under the age of 16 are prohibited from: Operating an ATV anywhere other than land owned or leased by a parent or guardian unless the child has a valid safety certificate or is under the direct supervision of a certified instructor during a certified safety training course Operating an ATV across highways or connecting streets or operate on state forest or park roads designated for joint use (use by both motor vehicles and snowmobiles or ATVs) unless the child has a valid safety certificate and is under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older Driving an ATV on state or local highways, roads, or streets designated for joint use A child under 8 is not eligible for a safety certificate and is prohibited from operating anywhere except on private property. Age 8 and 9 year-old operators are restricted to an engine size of 70cc or less.

ATV Equipment Requirements

All ATVs operating in Pennsylvania must be equipped with: A brake system capable of producing deceleration of 14 feet per second at a speed of 20 miles per hour A muffler in good working order. The sound intensity produced by an ATV may not exceed 99dbA (decibels), when measured at 20 inches An operating headlight and tail light if operating at dark or when visibility is less than 500 feet. The headlight must produce a white light sufficient to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of 100 feet. The tail light must produce a red light plainly visible during darkness from a distance of 500 feet.

Enforcement of ATV Rules & Regulations 

All law enforcement officers in the state, including local and state police, are authorized to enforce the Snowmobile/ATV Law. This includes: State forest and state park lands — state forest officers and DCNR rangers State Game Lands — wildlife conservation officers and deputy wildlife conservation officers Municipal and state roadways — municipal and state police Private property — municipal and state police You must stop when signaled by a law enforcement officer. Failure to do so could result in fines and loss of your registration. ATV FINES Failure to register your ATV or abide by the rules can be costly. First offenses range from $50 to $200 plus the cost of prosecution. A second offense carries a fine of $100 to $300 plus the cost of prosecution. Failure to register your vehicle or failure to have liability insurance is an automatic $300 fine plus cost of prosecution.

For additional information on ATV Trails in state forests click here

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Twp Fire Rescue Secures FEMA Grant to Enhance Firefighter Safety




Bensalem Township Fire Rescue  announced the township has been awarded a $132,727.27 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This grant will allow the department to upgrade our aging Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), essential equipment that ensures firefighter safety in hazardous environments.

SCBA, commonly referred to as air packs, play a vital role in safeguarding firefighters by providing breathable air in smoke-filled or toxic atmospheres. The new SCBA units funded by this grant incorporate advanced technology and safety features absent in the old SCBA.

The grant funds will cover the acquisition of 14 SCBA harnesses, 28 air bottles, 14 facepieces, and a RIT pack.

 “The funding awarded by FEMA to Bensalem Fire Rescue will keep our firefighters safe and allow them to provide valuable services to our community.  We thank Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and his staff for their efforts to secure this much needed funding,” Public Safety Director William McVey said. 

“We are incredibly thankful to be awarded this grant which will allow us to replace our aging SCBA with the latest version of NFPA compliant SCBA. This equipment is crucial to the safety of our firefighters when responding to critical incidents. We greatly appreciate the continued support from Congressman Fitzpatrick and his staff in helping us obtain this funding,” said Battalion Fire Chief Robert Sponheimer, Bensalem Township Fire Rescue.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Seeks Info Who Walked out of Kohl’s with Hundreds in Merchandise




A retail theft prompted an investigation by Bensalem Police who need to identify a female who allegedly left hundreds of dollars of merchandise,

Police said, the retail theft happened at Kohls, located at 2325 Street Rd., on July 9, 2024.

At approximately 3 p.m., an unknown female allegedly entered the store with a large blue shoulder bag and filled it with numerous shirts worth $636.00., said police.

The female fled the area in a dark-colored sedan without paying for the merchandise. police said.

Please look at them closely.

If you have any information regarding this person’s identity, please submit an anonymous tip or contact Bensalem Police at 215-633-3719.




Credit: Bensalem Police

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Con Artist who Caregiver Who Faked Cancer Diagnosis Stole from Patients and Families Sentenced




A 48-year-old woman was sentenced on Wednesday for stealing thousands of dollars in money and heirloom jewelry from the families of two elderly women she cared for and then submitting fake medical documents claiming to have stage 4 esophageal cancer so that she could delay her trial.

Shannon Lynn  Eberhartof Bensalem, also pleaded guilty today to the charges of unlawful use of a computer and two counts of identity theft related to the submission of fraudulent documentation. In March, she pleaded guilty to two counts of financial exploitation of an older adult or care dependent person, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property, and one count each of identity theft and access device fraud.

Common Pleas Judge Gary B. Gilman sentenced Eberhart to one year minus a day to two years minus a day in the Bucks County Correctional Facility, followed by a consecutive sentence of 11 years of probation. He called her actions “despicable and unfathomable,” and an unending betrayal to those who trusted her.

“You are nothing but a con artist who deceived the people who cared for you,” he said. “You betrayed every cancer patient, you betrayed the court system, you betrayed your attorney,” said Gilman, who questioned whether Eberhart’s courtroom tears were real, or just another of her deceptions.

In addition to her jail and probation rerquire4ment6s , Gilman ordered Eberhart to pay $32,835 in restitution to three victims, undergo mental health and drug and alcohol treatment and never again work as a caregiver.

Eberhart was initially charged in late February 2023 following an investigation by the Newtown Township Police Department that revealed that she stole jewelry and cash from two women she worked for as a caretaker. Additionally, the investigation found that Eberhart made unauthorized withdrawals from one of the victim’s bank accounts.

Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber said shortly after being employed, Eberhart started stealing from right under their noses.

“It was not about the monetary value,” he said. “These were pieces of heirloom jewelry handed down from generation to generation, now gone.”

Eberhart waived her preliminary hearing and formal arraignment, and the case was scheduled for pre-trial conference on three different occasions. A month before a scheduled court hearing in December 2023, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office received a medical document from Eberhart’s public defender, who had received it from Eberhart to support her continuance request.

The letter, which appeared to have come from a Montgomery County hospital, claimed Eberhart had stage 4 esophageal cancer and needed further treatment.

Bucks County detectives contacted the two doctors named in the letter and both said they never authored the letter and never treated Eberhart. Representatives of the hospital also confirmed that the letter was fake and contained several inaccuracies, including the official name of the hospital and its logo. The two doctors named in the letter also never worked at their hospital.

The investigation by Bucks County Detectives found that the letter was clearly written using a computer, as it contained a digitally created logo and headers, footers, and margins. Additionally, the investigation found that Eberhart emailed the fake letter to her attorney, who in turn submitted the letter to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

The families of the victims gave impact statements about how Eberhart’s deceitfulness affected them, not just financially, but emotionally. Both families knew and trusted Eberhart before she was hired to work as a caregiver for their elderly mothers. During their brief time working for the families, they grew to care for her.

One of the families said they grieved with Eberhart and gave her flowers and condolences when she told them her mother passed away, but that was another of her shameful lies. Eberhart’s mother was in court on Wednesday.

“Shannon’s actions here are unforgivable,” one of the victims said. “These pieces of jewelry tell stories of my family, past and present, and can never be replaced.”

Deputy District Attorney Marc Furber called the “theft from the elderly, especially by people entrusted to care for them,” a major problem.

“The Defendant compounded her crimes against the elderly by attempting to continue her manipulation in the Court system. She failed, but not for lack of trying,” he said. “This case should be a lesson to those who are in positions of trust for elderly or disabled individuals.  That trust should be upheld at all costs.  If you make the decision to violate that trust, you will be caught, you will go to jail and further attempts to manipulate the legal system will fail.”

“The effects of elder financial abuse are incredibly tragic and long lasting for the victims and their families,” Furber said. “But if there was one bright spot to the Defendant’s actions, it is that those actions demonstrated the strength of our legal system in Bucks County. We are ready to combat falsity, dishonesty and misinformation with the shining light of truth and justice.”

These cases were investigated by Detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Newtown Township Police Department and Warminster Township Police Department. They were prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber, Chief of Insurance Fraud and Economic Crimes.

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