Jersey City bans dirt bikes and ATVs from public roads

Dirt bikes are typically ridden in rough terrain, but there had been complaints about them on the streets of Jersey City. (Photo Shutterstock)

Dirt bikes and ATVs will no longer be allowed on the streets of Jersey City after a new ordinance passed banning vehicles from driving in the city.

The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by City Council (in the absence of Councilwoman Denise Ridley) and signed by Mayor Steven Fulop the next day, will prohibit them from driving on public roads, highways or highways. rights of way.

Any such vehicle traveling on these roads will be considered contraband, with violators subject to a minimum fine of $50. The vehicle can be impounded and disposed of or destroyed.

Minors caught breaking the rules will first receive a written warning to their parents or guardians on a first violation; a second offense will result in a $50 fine or community service, and a third or subsequent offense will result in a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine.

In new amendments that have been added to the ordinance, any unregistered or uninsured dirt bikes or ATVs that are abandoned, stored, parked on a public road, sidewalk or in an alley will be subject to confiscation or may be destroyed.

It also states that any impounded vehicle will be returned to its owner once it has submitted “satisfactory” proof of identity and ownership, including (but not limited to) registration and insurance. appropriate for the vehicle and payment of all unpaid fees and costs associated with impoundment and “reasonable” towing and storage charges.

The use of dirt bikes and ATVs on city streets were a concern for a number of residents for at least the last year. Ridley, who was the primary sponsor of the ordinance, say it Jersey Newspaper last week that she had received a number of complaints from her constituents about the vehicles.

A video from one voter in particular showed a number of riders doing wheelies through a red light.

Ridley was absent from the meeting last week due to family obligations, but had a letter read by City Clerk Sean Gallagher saying the ordinance was “too big to hold, so I have to ask for the vote to stand.” continue without my presence”.

“I know that some people are concerned that the cops cannot pursue individuals on these vehicles,” Ridley’s letter read. “I remind you that the job of our Jersey City police officers is to protect and to serve, and that includes the people on those dirt bikes and ATVs.”

“We do not want to hurt them, or any other residents or offices,” the letter continues. “These vehicles will be treated like other unregistered vehicles and will be confiscated. We do not intend to crush them, as you may have seen in other states.

Councilman Frank Gilmore mentioned the use of electric scooters and asked how the police knew to differentiate themselves from them. Itza Wilson, the company’s assistant supervisory attorney, replied that officers would understand what would count as a dirt bike or an ATV, and that the order was only for those two.

Councilman Daniel Rivera also followed and asked if there was a way for the city to register e-scooters, saying some of them with businesses and on sidewalks “become bananas”, which to to which Wilson replied that they could dig deeper and come back. to him above.

In another ordinance which was passed unanimously and signed by Fulop, bicycles, skateboards, scooters and roller skates will be banned from being ridden in pedestrian plazas and shopping malls, which include the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall and the Exchange Place Pedestrian Mall.

Ayla Schermer, the president of Bike JC, had asked the council if it could make changes to the ordinance that would allow a bicycle or other wheeled vehicle to walk in the plazas, saying the group had received reports of police officers issuing tickets for doing such or parking them on the bike racks.

“I think you will all agree, or I hope you will, that this has no security rationale,” she said. “Someone walking slowly on their bicycle in the square poses no more of a safety risk than any other pedestrian. The inappropriate and inconsistent enforcement that is occurring is troubling and problematic.

Colin DeVries of Safe Streets JC also said he felt the plazas were a “missed opportunity to also be intentional” to include a safe space for other modes of transportation.

“Many people go to business[es] using bicycles, scooters, skateboards and roller skates, and having to set them aside somewhere at the start of the pedestrian plaza may prevent them from frequenting some of these businesses,” he said.

Councilor James Solomon said before he voted that he had raised the issue of the issue of a ticket for walking bikes in the square, and the company’s solicitor told him that morning that a number of other concerns had been raised regarding the wider access of vehicles currently in the pedestrian plaza, as delivery vehicles.

“Already a meeting was going to be called to discuss it next week, and he asked that any changes be incorporated into that meeting,” Solomon said, adding that if the ordinance isn’t before the board next month , it would introduce one to clarify that bikes would be allowed to do so as such.

Gilmore also asked what would happen if someone got a ticket for walking their bike, to which Wilson said walking shouldn’t be included as it needs to be driven or operated on, and admitted that the order had to be “a little stronger. ”

“So is it fair to assume that if someone got a ticket for crossing, and they explained it in court, a reasonable conclusion would be to dismiss that?” asked Gilmore.

“If they read the way the prescription reads now?” Yes, it should be,” Wilson replied.

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