In recent years, unlicensed all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes have become a common sight on the streets of many municipalities, including Jersey City. Now, Mayor Steve Fulop along with Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley, Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, and the Jersey City Police Department think they have a partial solution.
At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, they will introduce an ordinance prohibiting Jersey City gas stations from dispensing gasoline directly into an all-terrain vehicle or dirt bike unless the vehicle was transported to the gas station on a properly registered vehicle, trailer, or truck. Violators will be subject to a maximum fine of $2,000.
According to the law’s sponsors, since June 2022, Jersey City Police Officers have responded to 100 calls for service involving dirt bikes or ATVs, 10 of which involved motor vehicle crashes. The rise in illegal ATVs driving “recklessly” on roadways throughout the state, say the backers, poses a new level of danger to public safety, especially pedestrians, drivers, and riders.
“We have been working closely with our police department as this issue has become increasingly alarming, and our residents are being put in harm’s way due to reckless ATV drivers,” said Mayor Fulop.
“In addition to deterring gas stations, we are also making it illegal for storage facilities to allow for the delivery and/or removal of ATVs that are not properly transported,” added Prinz-Arey.
Said Ridley, “The drivers of these illegal ATVs are often weaving through traffic without helmets at speeds that pose a serious danger to themselves.”
New York City has also battled the problem of rogue dirt-bikes and ATVs. Last year, the city reported the seizure of 2000 such vehicles and publicized the destruction of a “mound” of them using a massive bulldozer.