PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police appear to be cracking down on illegal ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets. They intercepted a group of illegal riders on the Ben Franklin Parkway this weekend.
You can hear them coming, their engines roaring in the distance. ATV and dirt bike riders using Philadelphia streets as their playground.READ MORE: 21-Year-Old Woman Killed After Disgruntled Patron Fires At Least 15 Shots Into Northeast Philadelphia Bar, Police Say
Eyewitness News cameras recorded the riders running a red light on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
“The city needs to crack down on it, some kind of good way without harm,” one woman said.
On Sunday night, police appeared to be doing just that as officers on bikes, lights flashing, intercepted a group of riders.
“I mean, if they’re going with traffic and stuff they’re like any other vehicle to be concerned about but it’s the amount of intensity that they drive with that really is sad,” Bradford Sodowick said.
The crackdown comes after two people were killed in crashes involving the illegal vehicles in the same week.
An ATV rider was hit while driving the wrong way, the other was a 17-year-old who was struck by a dirt bike rider doing wheelies at high speed.READ MORE: Man Killed In Road Rage Shooting In Springfield Identified, Authorities Say
“It’s like when you jump on a bike it’s like don’t nothing else matter. It’s just freedom, it’s what we want,” a bike rider named Blocka said.
Blocka says he occasionally rides here in the city. He’s against the crackdown and says their options are limited.
“That’s all it is out here is blocks and streets and concrete, it’s no outlet. Yeah, we would use it,” Blocka said of an outlet.
Until then, as officers continue to trail them, officials like state Rep. Amen Brown are hoping to use the power of state law to stop them. His proposal would allow police to destroy them after confiscating them.
It’s something officers in Reading are already doing.
“I think it’s definitely a problem someone needs to approach and look at. I don’t know how they’re gonna deal with it. I don’t have all the answers,” Terrance Perrin said.MORE NEWS: Crime Without Punishment: Homicide Clearance Rates Are Dropping In Philadelphia As Murder Rates Skyrocket
It’s unclear if any vehicles were confiscated or if any citations were given to riders over the weekend. We’re expecting an update from Rep. Brown this week.