ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester police officials provided an update Tuesday on a law enforcement initiative to target the illegal use of ATVs, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles on city streets.

This initiative — a collaboration between the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police — was launched on April 29.

In the 30 days since the results of this effort are as follows:

Off-road vehicles towed/seized

  • ATV’s — 12
  • Dirt Bikes — 21
  • Mini Bikes — 4
  • Golf Carts — 1
  • Other —1
  • Total = 39

Enforcement

  • Traffic tickets — 62
  • Municipal code violations — 5
  • Parking ticket — 1

Educational

  • Safety pamphlets distributed — 40

Based on these results, interim Rochester Police Chief David Smith has authorized the initiative to continue for another 30 days and it will be re-evaluated at that time.

Officials say ATVs are more dangerous when on roads because they are designed for off-road activity.

“The tires aren’t made to be on the pavement, they’re not wearing any safety equipment with them like goggles or helmets, they aren’t expected, they are against New York state vehicle and traffic law to be on the roads, they have to be on private property only,” said Rochester Police Sgt. John Rivers.

“Under New York state law, you are not allowed to drive these on a public roadway or highway,” said Paul Marasco, personal injury attorney. “The police can pull you over for having an unregistered vehicle. If you hurt someone, the operator will be sued and held liable, but also the owner will too, so if you’re owning one of these and you’re lending it out to somebody with your permission and consent, you will be held liable as well for their actions.”

The attorney says if you’re buying an ATV from a dealer, it has to be registered by the dealer making the sale. If you buy privately, the buyer is responsible for registering it, and it also has to be insured.

Police say one of the ATVs seized was stolen in 2016 out of the Town of Ogden, and the golf cart was stolen by teens for a joy ride at the Lilac Festival.

“The golf cart was found at the Avenue D Rec Center being driven by young children in the grassy field area,” Sgt. Rivers said. “When they saw one of my officers they ran, jumped off the cart, and ran and they had a mechanical issue with is so we were able to recover the golf cart.”