On Wednesday, the Jersey City Council will discuss a proposed law to prohibit the sale of gasoline to individuals operating illegal dirt motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
“We have been working closely with our police department as this issue has gotten increasingly disturbing and our people are being put in harm’s way due to reckless ATV drivers,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
As part of our larger, multi-pronged efforts to increase safety on the city’s roads, this measure is essential as a deterrent.
Denise Ridley and Mira Prinz-Arey, both members of the Jefferson City Council, are behind the bill in part because the JCPD has received 100 calls for service involving dirt motorcycles and/or ATVs since June, 10 of which involved car collisions.
The ordinance specifies a maximum fine of $2,000 for violating petrol stations and storage facilities.
An ordinance Ridley sponsored to ban dirt bikes and ATVs from public roads was passed in September.
“The drivers of these illegal ATVs are often weaving through traffic without helmets at speeds that pose a serious danger to themselves, surrounding vehicles on the roadways, and the public at large,” Ridley said.
The point is to provide yet another disincentive for them to reconsider putting innocent lives in danger.
Jersey City law makes it illegal for gas station owners or employees to dispense gas straight into an ATV or dirt bike unless the vehicle was brought in on a registered vehicle, trailer, or truck.
We are speaking out against the dangers posed by unlicensed ATVs and dirt bikes in our neighborhood. “We are making it illegal for storage facilities to allow for the delivery and/or removal of ATVs that are not properly carried,” said Prinz-Arey, adding that this would discourage gas stations as well.
According to JCPD Deputy Chief Nick Flora, there has been a disturbing increase in the number of unlicensed ATVs driving recklessly on roadways around the state, posing a new level of threat to public safety, particularly for pedestrians, drivers, and riders.
In addition, Flora stated, “Historically, this was not a huge issue we were continuously dealing with, but in recent years we have witnessed a steep increase in ATV-involved motor vehicle accidents and other safety issues around these illicit motorized bikes.”
While our officers have made efforts to address this, it has grown into a statewide problem that requires a comprehensive analysis.
Today at 4 p.m., Jersey City will hold its caucus in City Hall (280 Grove St.), followed by its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Microsoft Teams will be used to live stream both events.