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Legislation to crack down on illegal dirtbikes and ATVs

July 15, 2019 11:19 PM

ALBANY – Albany Councilman Richard Conti introduced a resolution Monday night that could help crack down on the use of illegal dirt bikes and ATVs in the City of Albany.

The problem has been growing in the city and has many residents concerned about their safety.

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"Residents in the area are really concerned about the safety issues associated with ATV use,” said John DeBois, who is the president of the Hudson Park Neighborhood Association. “A lot of times they'll be walking around the neighborhood and they'll just see an ATV fly by maybe on the street, maybe on the sidewalk, maybe it's going through a red light."

DeBois said he hasn’t heard of any residents being injured yet from all the activity, but he said it’s only a matter of time.

"We have heard of people with a stroller having to jump out of the way,” said DeBois.

Conti introduced a resolution that would authorize the Albany Police Department to create a rewards program in relation to illegal use of ATVs and dirt bikes on public streets. The money for the program will likely come from the city’s general fund.

“I don't think we're talking about a lot of money,” said Conti. “The authorized amounts are up to a $1,000 or $25,000 for a felony. I don't think we're really talking about a felony conviction in this case. It's more the violation of the vehicle in traffic law.”

Only one person spoke about the resolution during the public comment period of Monday’s meeting. The resident said he was concerned the program would impact low income communities.

"We're really looking at the activity as a public safety concern and it's been a big issue not just in downtown neighborhoods but throughout the city,” said Conti.

DeBois said he’s just happy some sort of action is being taken about this major problem.

"It's showing that the city cares about resident input on the topic,” said DeBois. “So at least something is being done. We’ll have to see if it ends up panning out, at least it's a step in the right direction."

Conti said he would also like to look at how the council can create recreational opportunities for dirt bike and ATV riders. The resolution now goes to the public safety committee for review.

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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