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Cities crack down on illegal riding

Dirt Bikes, ATVs Taken

Communities cracked down in May on people illegally riding dirt bikes and ATVs on public streets, acting on complaints from residents.

In Philadelphia, police seized 63 vehicles during one weekend, arresting riders for theft, unauthorized use and fleeing police. An additional 60 citations were issued for traffic violations.

Rochester, N.Y., police are working with state police to try to catch those riding illegally along the non-motorized El Camino trail, where nearby residents are complaining about the daily noise and dust caused by dirt bikes.

Rochester officers using “smart enforcement”—which includes no high-speed pursuit—have been unsuccessful. But police say they do not plan to escalate enforcement for what is, essentially, a traffic violation that carries a punishment of a ticket and a fine.

In Ascension Parish, La., the sheriff has been responding to an increase in the number of calls about illegal ATV riding on streets and highways.

Deputies issued 13 citations after being dispatched to 49 calls on May 10 alone.
And Bridgeport, Conn., police seized nine ATVs and dirt bikes over Mother’s Day weekend and fined each of the riders $500 for riding on city streets and city property. The police created a task force to crack down on the illegal riders.

▲ This image from the 2013 documentary “12 O’Clock Boys” depicts Baltimore riders on motorcycles and ATVs that are not street-legal.
Photo by Noah Rabinowitz. Courtesy of 12 O’CLOCK BOYS.