Police remove 82 illegal ATVs, dirt bikes from Providence streets

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence officials said Thursday police have confiscated 82 illegal dirt bikes in recent months as they continue to crack down on the illegal use of recreational vehicles driving around city streets.

Police have been vigilant in issuing violations to people operating illegal vehicles since an ordinance passed by the City Council in May allowed police to confiscate dirt bikes and ATVs. In July, the city created a task force to assist police in carrying out the ordinance.

The ordinance also focused on police issuing summonses for vehicles that are not properly registered and do not have proper turn signals or lighting.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said 82 illegal dirt bikes have been seized and 91 summonses have been issued since the ordinance was put into place.

Elorza sayid off-road vehicles being driven on city streets are dangerous and a threat to people’s safety.

“The use of dirt bikes and ATVs on our streets is illegal and is a serious danger,” he said. “We’ve confiscated dozens of vehicles and we won’t tolerate their use on Providence streets. I salute the Providence Police Department for their diligent work and for making our neighborhoods safer.” 

The city held a public service campaign this past summer to inform motorists of city vehicle restrictions, including fines and charges.

“As we are entering into the fall and winter months, the police department warns those individuals who are operating these vehicles illegally that our efforts will continue,”  Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said.  “We also want to remind parents that these vehicles are in fact illegal and will not be tolerated by police.”

Councilman Michael Correia said the statistics speak for themselves.

“This initiative is working,” he said. “These vehicles are not meant for city streets and we will not tolerate their presence. I encourage all city residents to report sightings and storage locations of these illegally operated and unregistered ATV`s and dirt bikes, working together we will put an end to this citywide epidemic.”

Anyone who wants to report the location or operation of an illegal recreational vehicle can contact the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121.