NEW HAVEN, Conn, (WTNH) — The City of New Haven is ramping up efforts to stop people from riding illegal vehicles.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and members of the New Haven Police Department Thursday announced a new ratified ordinance amendment, which would strengthen fines and consequences for those who ride illegal vehicles on New Haven streets and roadways.
These illegal vehicles include dirt bikes, ATVs, minibikes, motorized bicycles, pocket bikes; all of these being all-terrain vehicles.
“We don’t want to arrest people, we don’t want to give thousand dollar fines, we just don’t want you riding on the street,” said Karl Jacobson, Assist. Chief Detective Bureau.
People caught on these bikes will be hit hard with fines; $1,000 for the first violation, $1,500 for the second, and $2,000 for a third violation.
“Part of this is to reduce the number of arrests. To give us the ability to fine. And if people don’t pay the fine, we can keep the bike and keep the ATV and get it off the street,” said Justin Elicker, New Haven Mayor.
It would also strengthen violations for underage vehicle passengers. Passengers of illegal vehicles 16 and older are subject to a $250 fine.
The amendment will also go as far as where these riders get fuel; any gas station owners and workers who sell gas to those operating illegal vehicles will first get a warning, and a $100 fine per occurrence afterward.
The police department is distributing signs at area gas stations, warning everyone that they mean business. One business owner welcomes the idea, following a recent encounter with ATV riders.
“A hundred people came in, they were doing wheelies. I got scared. I pulled my car over and said, ‘I’m not going through this,'” said Nasim Abid, gas station owner.
And the mayor and city police are hoping you don’t have to either.