Councilmember McDuffie Takes on Illegal Dirt Bikes & ATVs
We’ve all seen them — dirt bikes and ATVs racing through the neighborhood, often driving the wrong way on one-way streets. Most people consider them a dangerous menace that are inappropriate in a dense urban environment. Yet police are limited in what they can do to enforce the law. Chasing the violators only increases the danger to the community. At recent community meetings, MPD has encouraged residents to report where these bikes are stored so that they can work to impound them. Now, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has introduced legislation to bolster enforcement abilities and increase the penalties for illegal dirt bikes and ATVs. Read the press release and a selection of news articles below.
Councilmember McDuffie introduces bill that dramatically increases the penalties for illegal dirt bikes and ATVs
Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D – Ward 5) introduced legislation to address the growing problem of illegal dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (“ATVs”) in the District.
The “Enhanced Penalties for Operation of All-Terrain Vehicles and Dirt Bikes Amendment Act of 2015” provides the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) with additional “tools” to combat what many reside
nts have described as a terrifying increase in the prevalence of packs of dirt bike and ATV riders. The measure would allow MPD to tow any dirt bike or ATV parked on public property; requires registration of all ATVs and dirt bikes with the Department of Motor Vehicles so there is a record of each vehicle; and importantly, the bill creates the following enhanced penalties for offenders:
- For a first violation, the perpetrator will be fined up to 250.00 and/or imprisoned no more than 30 days.
- For a second violation, the Mayor or her designated agent shall suspend the individual’s provisional or operator’s permit for six months from the date of the conviction. The perpetrator will also be fined up to 500.00 and/or imprisoned no more than 90 days.
- For the third or subsequent violation, the Mayor or the designated agent of the Mayor shall suspend the individual’s provisional or operator’s permit for a year and the individual will be fined up to 1000.00 and/or imprisoned for no more than 180 days.
“I have heard from countless residents, and police officers about the illegal use of dirt bikes and ATVs,” said McDuffie. “Currently our laws just do not serve as a sufficient deterrent to the use of these machines. Dirt bikes and ATVs are not appropriate for use on our roads, are dangerous, and have been used completely irresponsibly on sidewalks and in packs to intimidate pedestrians and drivers.
“This bill will go a long way to serve as a warning to those who are thinking about using dirt bikes and ATVs on our streets, and also provide MPD with the ability to tow parked dirt bikes and ATVs.”
The bill was co-introduced by Councilmembers Allen and Nadeau.