WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Illegal street racing vehicles continue to be a problem across the state — and now appear to be a key issue in the West Haven mayoral race.
The latest incident was on Aug. 20, when dozens of dirt bikes and ATVs drove through West Haven. That night, West Haven police arrested two people for driving illegal dirt bikes and said one of them was found with a loaded gun.
Mayor Nancy Rossi said the city council is working on an ordinance to get illegal vehicles off the road. She is also meeting with other mayors on Friday to figure out how they can fight this problem across the area.
“A lot of the residents are afraid someone is going to get hurt eventually,” she said. “So am I and so is my administration. They literally ruined the streets the way they burned the asphalt, so we’re taking it very seriously.”
Rossi isn’t seeking re-election this November, so this will likely be an issue for the next mayor.
The Republican-endorsed candidate, Paige Weinstein, suggests creating youth programs to engage teens who are riding illegal vehicles.
“If you don’t stop it with the children, or we don’t start engaging with our children in ways that are positive, we’re just handing them out to the streets in some cases,” she said.
Barry Lee Cohen, another Republican candidate running for mayor, said one solution is making sure that law enforcement has what they need to stop these large groups.
“Looking at new ways to invest in the police, new technologies that are so important, tying in and networking those technologies so it’s not just our police, but our fire and our EMS are all working together,” he said.
The endorsed Democratic candidate for mayor, Dorinda Borer, did not respond to News 8’s request for comment on Monday.