All-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes are already illegal on the streets of Paterson. And now the city is banning those vehicles from refueling at city gas stations.
“It’s not safe for the city or for anyone. Not safe for my children, not safe for my family. It’s not safe for anyone,” says Hesham Attia, district manager of Chestnut Market.
Paterson officials began the campaign to rid the city of these vehicles this summer.
“Our goal here is to completely eradicate this problem,” says Aymen Aboushi, attorney for the Paterson Corporation.
It is now the last effort.
“Gas dispersal is completely prohibited,” says Mayor Andre Sayegh.
Sayegh says an old man named Mohammed Miah was hit by a motorbike last Friday. The motorcyclist fled. Miah remains in intensive care.
“You had a reckless jumper knock out a helpless resident and leave him to die,” the mayor says.
Sayegh says he was livid about the hit-and-run incident and police are working to find the biker.
“We took an oath to protect our residents. We took an oath to protect the Patersonians,” says Sayegh.
But some say the new policy could put gas station attendants in a difficult position. This puts them on the front lines of denying service to anyone who rides an ATV or dirt bike.
“So we don’t want to put anyone at risk. But we certainly need and appreciate the cooperation of our business owners,” says Aboushi.
The law allows gas attendants fearing for their safety to dispense gas. But they must call the police immediately afterwards.
The vehicle that hit Miah has Pennsylvania license plates. Authorities say they don’t know if it was stolen.