NB City Council Cracking Down On ATV’s In The Streets
As a result of the New Bedford police sergeant's injury from off-road riders on Halloween night, city officials are taking steps to stop off-road vehicles from putting people on the streets in danger.
At Thursday night's meeting, the New Bedford City Council discussed contacting local state representatives like Tony Cabral and State Senator Mark Montigny to support an ordinance against off-road vehicles on public streets and areas. The potential legislation would require that all off-road vehicles be registered and insured with the state, similar to any other motor vehicle.
According to council members, the problem has been ongoing in the north end of New Bedford. Councilor Naomi Carney said she's witnessed groups driving dirt bikes and quads recklessly through traffic a number of times.
"They're going down sidewalks. They're going everywhere. They just feel entitled, and they're not doing it because they want to go for a joyride. They're doing it to raise havoc throughout the community," Carney said.
Other councilors like Ian Abreu and Kerry Winterson spoke about their own experiences and concerns with ATV's on the streets.
While much of the discussion was based on the public being in danger, Councilor Jim Oliveira raised concern for the riders themselves.
Living in the north end near Rt. 140, Oliveira said there have been multiple off-road vehicle deaths near his house. He said the potential legislation would force riders to stay safe too.
"Very clearly to me, these individuals are not aware of what kind of peril they can put their own lives in... at those young ages, they feel like their immortal," Oliveira said.