Contact: David Galin
ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan joined Police Chief Eric Hawkins and Councilmembers Richard Conti, Joyce Love, and Alfredo Balarin today to sign Local Law E of 2021, banning the use of ATVs and Dirt Bikes on public property including parks and increasing repossession fees, combined with illegal use fines, to $3,000 per violation.
Video of Press Conference.
Over the past several summers there has been a steady increase in ATVs and Dirt Bikes traveling across the City. Dirt bikes and ATVs have been witnessed driving through City parks and on sidewalks in front of Albany High School – putting young children and parents in danger – and these vehicles hit buses and injured both bystanders and police officers in just Spring 2021 alone. In an effort to deter this illegal activity, Mayor Sheehan, Chief Hawkins, and the City’s Corporation Counsel office led by Marisa Franchini worked with Councilmembers Conti, Love, and Balarin to draft and enact this legislation.
This legislation also allows the City of Albany to sell or destroy repossessed vehicles unclaimed after 60 days, and goes into effect immediately.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “These vehicles are loud, dangerous, negatively impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and are a menace to our community. The message today is clear: do not bring your ATV or Dirt Bike to the City of Albany, because you are not only putting our residents in danger, but it will cost you $3,000 to get it back.”
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said, “The Albany Police Department remains committed to ensuring our community’s streets remain free of all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes. As we have all witnessed, those who choose to operate these unregistered and uninsured vehicles on public roadways are a nuisance to the community and have no regard for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and our residents. We remain committed to this issue and will continue to arrest, issue traffic citations and confiscate the vehicles of those who participate in this reckless behavior.”
Common Council President Corey Ellis said, “These vehicles terrorize our streets and neighborhoods, put our neighbors in danger, and negatively impact quality of life. These vehicles are not designed for densely populated cities and the action of the Common Council and Mayor Sheehan makes it clear these vehicles should remain in rural areas, not in New York’s Capital City.”
President Pro Tempore, Public Safety Committee Chair, and 4th Ward Common Councilmember Kelly Kimbrough said, “I wholeheartedly support this legislation and see it as another tool the Albany Police Department can use to combat the lawlessness displayed by the individuals who participate in this activity.”
Council Majority Leader and 13th Ward Councilmember Ginnie Farrell said, “Ensuring our streets are safe for our residents is of utmost importance, the increase of unregistered ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets is not appropriate and is especially dangerous for pedestrians. I am proud to co-sponsor Councilmember Richard Conti’s legislation and appreciate the work that Mayor Sheehan and Chief Hawkins have done to keep our neighborhood streets safe.”
6th Ward Councilmember Richard Conti said, “The illegal use of ATVs and dirt bikes on public streets and sidewalks is a traffic hazard and endangerment to pedestrians. It impacts all parts of our city, that's why Local Law E received the unanimous support of members of the Common Council in voting for its adoption. The additional enforcement mechanisms being signed into law today will enhance the efforts of the Albany Police Department to crack down on this public safety threat. I want to acknowledge the efforts and commitment of Mayor Sheehan and Chief Hawkins in making safe streets and sidewalks a priority."
3rd Ward Councilmember Joyce Love said, “I am glad we are tackling this important public safety issue. These ATVs and Dirt Bikes are dangers to our community and our residents, and also disrupt the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I implore those who use these vehicles to no longer do so in the City of Albany.”
11th Ward Councilmember Alfredo Balarin said, “These illegal bikes have terrorized our neighborhoods for too long, keeping our kids up at night and creating dangerous environments on our roadways and in our parks. The message is clear: this is behavior is unacceptable.”
Chief City Auditor Dr. Dorcey Applyrs said, “ATVs and Dirt Bikes, when used in a careless manner and in the wrong environments, seriously impact the quality of life and safety of the people who operate them and our neighborhoods. Our City parks and streets, which are densely populated with people, are not conducive for operating ATVs and dirt bikes. I commend Mayor Sheehan, APD, and the Common Council for acting quickly to ban these vehicles from our City parks and increasing the penalties for those who choose to break the law.”
City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar said, “The City is not the place for out-of-towners to illegally ride in packs on vehicles that were meant to be run on the farms from which they came. It is dangerous and stupid.