Legislation aims to keep dirt bikes, ATVs off the streets by increasing fines
As illegal dirt biking and drag racing continue to become a public safety crisis across the city, one Bronx legislator is fighting to increase fines to keep New Yorkers safe.
Councilmember Mark Gjonaj came together with members of the New York City Police Department yesterday to announce legislation that would increase fines to $750 for the first offense of operating dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles on city roadways, and $1,500 for additional offenses.
The current fines are $500 for the first offense, and $1,000 for any additional offenses.
"Dirt bikes, four wheelers, reckless driving, drag racing, is illegal in city of New York," Gjonaj says. "But as you see and witness for yourself, you wouldn't know any better because of the number of illegal bikes that have taken over our streets."
On Wednesday morning, a 45-year-old man driving on the Washington Bridge was followed by a pack of dirt bike drivers, who shot at the victim multiple times and caused him to crash.
The victim was shot in the head four times and is now in stable condition at New York Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.
"It's becoming a weapon and a means of escape, knowing that no one will chase you," Gjonaj says. "And that's what we are now as a city."
The NYPD announced in May that it is offering $100 for every illegal dirt bike or ATV confiscated by providing tips through Crime Stoppers.
Seized bikes and ATVs without a rightful owner are destroyed by the NYPD, though the department warned that officers will not engage in pursuits when the danger of the pursuit outweighs the violation.