Fines about to increase for illegal ATV and dirt bike riders


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Albany is working to get rid of illegal dirt bikes and ATVs off the streets. The Albany Common Council unanimously passed a law on Monday that will increase the fines for people who illegally drive dirt bikes and ATVs in the city.

This year alone, the Albany Police Department has arrested several people for reckless driving. In separate reckless driving incidents, two police officers were hurt. Police took a number of illegal bikes off the road.

“If you are operating an unregistered, uninsured dirt bike or motorcycle in this community…it will be seized and it will be towed by one of those companies,” says Steve Smith, Public Information Officer with the Albany Police Department.

Starting next Wednesday, ATV/dirt biker drivers could face up to $3,000 in fines as well as up to two weeks behind bars. Also included in this local law, if a driver’s impounded bike isn’t claimed, it could be destroyed or sold for scrap metal.

“The consensus was to create a deterrent to use, and that’s the purpose,” says Albany City Council Member Richard Conti.

Meanwhile other city residents say they don’t have an issue with ATVs and dirt bikes however safety is top priority. One Albany City residents says, “I just think they’re trying to have fun and as long as they’re keeping it in a safe capacity, they should be able to ride their bikes.”

“It may be a little too much when a car is driving through, but overall, the energy and the vibe is amazing,” says Michael German, Albany resident.

“We want to make sure we have a safe summer…we don’t have people dangerously operating these vehicles on our streets,” says Officer Steve Smith.

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14th. Mayor Kathy Sheehan is expected to sign the legislation into law on Wednesday. The bill will take affect immediately.

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