Councilman wants Providence police to enforce ban on ATVs, dirt bikes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Providence city councilman is calling on the police department to enforce an ordinance that fines individuals who operate ATVs and dirt bikes in city streets and allows officers to seize the vehicles.

In a letter to Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare and Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements, Councilman Michael Corriea said he was concerned about an incident where police saw more than 50 ATV and dirt bike riders storm through a public park on Easter Sunday.

Correia, who represents parts of the Mount Pleasant and Manton neighborhoods, said police must “send a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”

“Our public spaces need to be monitored more closely,” Correia said. “The owners of such vehicles must be properly held accountable for disturbing our neighborhoods risking the safety of constituents.”

In 2015, the City Council voted to prohibit the use of snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles like ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets. The city can fine individuals caught operating the vehicles $500 and seize the vehicles.

A year later, the council passed a resolution calling on the police department to enforce the ordinance following the death of a man who was operating an unregistered dirt bike in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

Reached Tuesday, Pare said the police department must craft a forfeiture process for the vehicles before the ordinance can be fully enforced.

Continue the discussion on Facebook

Dan McGowan ( ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan