Department Warns Crackdown Set To Begin After Fed Up New Yorkers Lodge Numerous Complaints Of Dangerous DrivingBy Andrea Grymes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD says it has heard the complaints and is taking action. A crackdown on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs on city streets is coming.

From Queens to Manhattan, and other city streets in between, ’tis the season for dangerous riders.

“They’re, you know, popping wheelies and doing tricks and it just doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to be doing on a city street,” one person told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes on Thursday.

Dirt bikes and ATVs are illegal in New York City, but that does not stop drivers from cruising around.

On Thursday, the NYPD said enough is enough.

“We do not tolerate these illegal and dangerous vehicles, driving recklessly, ignoring traffic signals, blocking traffic, driving on sidewalks and racing up and down New York City streets, causing danger to New Yorkers,” Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said.

READ MOREAstoria Residents Sick And Tired Of Illegal ATVs, Dirt Bikes Taking Over Local Park

Police said they are cracking down to get the drivers off the streets by:

  • Doubling down on community outreach
  • Using technology, including body cameras, to identify reckless drivers
  • Confiscating illegal vehicles
  • Offering $100 rewards for tips — for each illegal dirt bike police seized

“Obviously, it’s a joint effort between the New York City Police Department and our community. We have heard the complaints and we’re trying to do everything within our power to do something about it,” 33rd Precinct Deputy Inspector Charlie Bello said.

Earlier this week, CBS2 reported on a man in Inwood who said he was attacked when he told some illegal drivers they were wrong for riding in a park.

Last week, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted a video of more than 100 ATVs and dirt bikes that were seized in the prior three weeks. Police said they will be crushed and turned into recycled metal if the true owner isn’t found.

The NYPD said so far this year more than 350 people have been injured in accidents involving motorcycles, which are legal, along with ATVs and dirt bikes, and eight people have been killed.

Police said they do not make any money from confiscating the illegal vehicles, and they do not seize illegal bikes parked on private property.

Andrea Grymes