ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Officials in Albany are fed up with an uptick in illegal ATV and dirt bike riding through the city. Police Chief Eric Hawkins announced the launch of a new tip line for residents to specifically report this.

ATVs and dirt bikes can often be seen weaving in and out of traffic, and sometimes driving up on sidewalks. This causes an annoyance and potential safety risk for cars and pedestrians. Last Friday, officials said, ATVs and dirt bikes interfered with firefighters at the Arbor Hill station heading to an emergency call. The chief said they were circling the truck and blocking first responders.

“Not only were they impeding the apparatus as they were entering and exiting the firehouse,” said Albany Fire Chief Joe Gregory in a press conference. “They were also kind of targeting our firefighters as they were trying to safely back our apparatus into quarters.”

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said this has been an ongoing disturbance, causing issues for residents and fire officials for years. She said she thinks that creating a space in Albany for people to ride won’t solve the problem, that they’ll keep illegally zooming through neighborhoods.

“People are engaging in this activity because they want to be on city streets,” Sheehan told reporters. “They want to be in densely populated areas. That is their goal.”

Hawkins announced a new tip line—(518) 462-1818—specifically for people to report illegal dirt bike- and ATV-riding in the city.  This is in addition to last year’s legislation increasing repossession fees and fines, totaling $3,000 per violation. Hawkins described more measures, too, like keeping eyes online for videos of people illegally racing through the city.

“We have detectives that—for the most part, every single day—scour social media to see if they can identify who these people are,” Hawkins explained.

They also have residents living in Arbor Hill who see it firsthand and want it to end. “I was almost hit by a guy who was doing a wheelie right in front of this firehouse,” said Dr. Brenda Robinson. “These things really have to stop, because we have children who want to live freely.”

Officials pointed out the potential dangers of police chasing or pursuing ATVs and dirt bikes on the roads, so they say information from the public is critical in their mission to keep these noisy vehicles out of the city.