PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A dirt bike crackdown in Philadelphia. City Council appears ready to take action after getting an earful from residents who say off-road vehicles are a big problem on city streets.
With warmer weather comes the all too familiar sound of dirt bikes, ATVs and other terrain vehicles on city streets. Some residents have long complained about how much they are wreaking havoc in their neighborhoods.READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
After a Zoom with over 1,000 people from across the city Wednesday night, local officials are listening.
In response to citizen concerns, councilmembers introduced a bill that combines the definition of dirt bikes, ATVs, and dune buggies into one category — off-road vehicle — making them all equally illegal on city streets.
“Yes, there are shootings, there are robberies and other crimes. We are one of the bigger cities in the country but by the same token things have to be managed and they’re not in bubbles too,” said Eleanor Ingersoll with the Queen Village Neighbors Association.
But Tiffany Smits doesn’t consider riding off-road vehicles in the street a crime. Instead, she says it’s the opposite.
“I bought it to keep him out of trouble so he won’t get caught up in the street life,” Smits said.READ MORE: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
They’re picking up an off-roader that police towed just last weekend. Her son, who goes by the nickname “Dirt Bike,” was hauled off to jail but isn’t facing any charges. There was no ticket or summons.
And that’s what has been frustrating to police and politicians — a legal loophole that limits how long police could keep and confiscate vehicles like this. The process to closing it started in City Council today, which could see these illegal rides confiscated for good.
“If the council people are willing to stand up and say we’re going to introduce the legislation, we’re going to tighten it up we’re going to advocate for more money, then you kinda need the DA to say here’s what we’re gonna prosecute,” Ingersoll said.
“I’ll be out this Sunday in traffic. Let’s see if y’all catch me this Sunday,” Dirt Bike said.
Time could be running out for Dirt Bike’s free riding days.MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: Wake Coffee Roasters' Unique Way Of Selling Coffee Makes All Extra Happy In Morning
The council bill introduced today now goes to committee, and back out to a vote, which could make his recently recovered ride illegal on city streets in just weeks.