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New York City Mayor Eric Adams decided to make examples out of 100 illegal dirt bikes and ATVs seized by the city in an enforcement campaign intended to curb the "nuisance" of off-road vehicles being driven in swarms on city streets, "terrorizing" the metropolis.
Adams touted the results of a sweeping campaign that led to the confiscation of approximately 900 bikes and ATVs — nearly 90% more than were seized the prior year. Pitching it as a public safety issue, Adams noted that the issue is broader than the bikes merely being undocumented; they are often operated by uninsured drivers. As is the case in many urban centers where dirt bike and ATV gangs are prevalent, the vehicles are often stolen from surrounding suburbs.
"Many of these bikes don't have insurance. If they strike someone, the person is left with medical costs and other out of pocket expenses. So we're going to keep doing our part. We are happy about what we're doing today. It’s sending a strong message of our consistency in this area. Really, my thanks to the Chief of Patrol, Chief Maddrey and the Police Commissioner for ensuring that this initiative is important. Quality of life is everything, and it is our focus to deal with crime and the quality of life aspects, and these dirt bikes were a menace to the quality of life," Adams said before giving the bulldozer operator their cue.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams waved a checkered flag to start a bulldozing event, where 100 illegal dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, confiscated by the New York City Police Department, were crushed pic.twitter.com/DuzKOnWwAN — Reuters (@Reuters) June 22, 2022
"Patrol will be working closely with the highway units, we'll be working closely with our Transportation Bureau and our Community Affairs Bureau," said NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffery Maddrey. "We want to make sure we get the message out to everybody who thinks about riding these bikes that they are illegal and they will be subject to be seized."
Adams, a former law enforcement officer, was also asked whether efforts had been made to provide riding venues for enthusiasts who want to enjoy their hobby safely and legally, potentially keeping riders off public roads entirely The mayor appeared amenable to such possibilities.
"I'm dead on with you," Adams said. "You know, I loved riding a dirt bike when I was a child, and so I think it's crucial that we have those spaces. And we're going to look at some of the spaces out there to allow them to ride."