Fight against dirt bikes gains traction

Borough prez looks to cut off their fuel supply

In his continued push to get illegal dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles off the Bronx’s streets, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is asking the city to fine gas stations that allow the drivers to fill up.

Frustrated with NYPD’s reluctance to chase after illegal bikers, Diaz announced Wednesday that he is drafting legislation that, if passed into law, would call on the city to fine gas stations up to $1,000 for allowing dirt bikes and ATVs to use their gas. 

“These dirt bikes and ATVs are not street legal, yet videos clearly show them pulling right up to the pump at gas stations all over the city,” Diaz said, adding that the city should “consider a creative solution to shut off the fuel that drives the recklessness that has taken control of our streets.”

Last June, Diaz sent a letter to NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly, complaining that “these bikers are going unchecked throughout our neighborhoods through all hours of the day in an ever increasing number.”

Hunts Point residents have long urged police and elected officials to crack down on illegal dirt bikes, arguing that the problem in and around the peninsula is out of control. In August 2012, a police cruiser from the 41st Precinct slammed into a dirt bike while pursuing it near Randall Avenue, killing the driver and seriously injuring a passenger. That incident has put further pressure on police to take a hands-off approach to illegal bikers.

NYPD policy prohibits cops from pursuing the illegal vehicles, in order not to endanger other drivers and pedestrians.

Diaz’s call for the new law comes three days after a nationally publicized incident, when a mob of illegal ATVs and dirt bikes chased a family with a toddler in an SUV down Manhattan highways and streets before forcing the vehicle to stop and assaulting the driver.

Gas stations would not be fined for allowing drivers to gas up their legal vehicles when ATVs and dirt bikes are secured behind them in a trailer, Diaz’s proposal goes on to state.

“If we cut off the fuel, we can put an end to this public safety menace,” Diaz wrote.

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