New Bedford officials hope to crack down on the illegal use of recreational vehicles on city streets with a proposed ordinance announced Monday morning at City Hall. 

Mayor Jon Mitchell was joined by Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and members of the City Council to speak about the details of the ordinance.

Current law prohibits dirt bikes, all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and other off-road motorcycles from operating on public ways. The ordinance proposed by the city plans to expand on existing law and allow greater enforcement by police.

Violators of the ordinance would be subject to a $300 fine and impoundment of the vehicle.

Officials hope to change the behavior of people that think there are no consequences for these dangerous actions.

"Anybody upon seeing somebody get arrested or have their vehicle seized and impounded will maybe think twice before getting on one of these things again," Mitchell said.

Cordeiro also made a plea to the public to encourage an end to these illegal activities before more people are injured.

"It's imperative, it's essential especially that family and friends get it into these riders' heads not to go out there with this continued behavior,": Cordeiro said. "It's a matter of time before they either cause serious injury or kill someone or even themselves."

The chief asked any any residents that see illegal riding of recreational vehicles to report it to the police department.

The City Council will consider the ordinance during its December meeting and it could be enacted by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

A draft of the proposed ordinance can be viewed below.



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