City of Schenectady councilwoman calls for ban on ATVs, dirt bikes

Schenectady County
Dirt bike confiscated in Albany

Dirt bike confiscated by the Albany Police Department.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In response to a growing problem within City limits, according to Councilmember Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, the councilwoman is calling for a ban on all ATVs and dirt bikes within the City of Schenectady.

Pointing to the recent death of a dirt-bike rider on Cutler Street, Zalewski-Wildzunas stressed, “We need to give our Police new tools that they can use to address the public safety issues related to the operation of these vehicles on City streets and sidewalks. The vehicles are often unregistered and/or stolen.” She added that the “operation of these vehicles jeopardizes the safety, not only of the general public, but also that of the vehicle operators.”

Zalewski-Wildzunas’ plan would seek an amendment of the City Code that would allow Schenectady Police to detain anyone operating these vehicles in the City. The vehicles would then be impounded and eventually thrown out.

Zalewski-Wildzunas modeled her proposed legislation after a Hartford, Connecticut law. The Connecticut legislation states that impounded ATVs or dirt bikes cannot be released until the owner provides proof of ownership and pays administrative fees similar to those charged for impounded cars. If vehicles aren’t legally claimed within 45 days, the Police Chief or Sheriff can use their discretion to dispose of them.

The councilwoman believes that this new legislation will help to protect the community, save lives and allow Police to restore order to our streets, stating.

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