Jersey City, NJ gets tough on ATVs, dirt bikes on city streets
JERSEY CITY — Dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles have become what some say is the scourge of the city and the municipal council plans to take drastic action to solve the problem.
By law, ATVs cannot be driven on paved surfaces in New Jersey. That hasn't stopped packs of riders from taking to streets in cities like Paterson, Atlantic City, Jersey City and Pleasantville, and terrorizing neighborhoods riding up and down streets with loud engines, popping wheelies, screaming at each other and racing.
Members of a Newark group called the 12 O'Clockers have taken to riding through Jersey City on Sunday, Jersey City police Capt. Joe Olszewski told NJ.com. They ride in groups of 30 and try to lift their tires to the 12:00 position.
Impounded for breaking the law
A resolution sponsored by member Denise Ridley will get a final reading and vote at Thursday night's meeting allowing all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles driven on public streets to be impounded. Unregistered or uninsured dirt bikes or ATVs simply left on a public street or sidewalk can also be impounded.
Anyone 18 or older is prohibited from riding or using a motorized scooter, motorized skateboard, or motorized roller skates on any roadway, sidewalk or public property, according to the resolution.
Ridley told PIX 11 that many of the ATVs and dirt bikes are not registered making them tough to track if there's an accident.
"It poses a safety hazard but in addition, if this vehicle is in an accident there's no way to trace it," Ridley said.
The resolution doesn't go as far as New York City's new law that allows confiscated machines to be destroyed but owners must show proof of ownership, registration and insurance to get them back.
The resolution passed unanimously during its first reading with one member absent in August.