ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Legislature postponed a vote Tuesday evening on a measure to curb the use of illegal dirt bikes and ATVs on city streets.
As scheduled, the bill was introduced, tabled and a public hearing was approved by legislators for May 11.
The legislation, titled “Operation of Off-Road Vehicles on Public Highways in Monroe County,” comes weeks after multiple fatal crashes involving dirt bikes in the City of Rochester. If adopted, the law would:
- Prohibit the use of uninsured off-road vehicles on any public roadway in Monroe County
- Require ATV drivers and passengers to wear helmets
- Implement impoundment redemption fees: a $500 fine for a first-time offense, and a $2,000 fine if the vehicle has been impounded multiple times.
The bill says officers would be able to immediately impound off-road vehicles found in violation.
“In addition to the things prescribed in the local law we introduced tonight, we are also hoping to use it as a teaching moment. “There is simply not enough clarity right now. People need to learn which vehicles they can and cannot drive safely and legally on public roadways, and we hope this legislation will help with that,” said Legislator Vince Felder in a statement Tuesday evening.
Last month, there were several dirt bike accident deaths reported by RPD, including the death of a 9-year-old child on Norton Street.
Some county lawmakers took issue with the way in which the bill was introduced Tuesday.
“Today, our initial legislation was rejected by President Carbone as a Matter of Importance, only hours later to show up as someone else’s idea. This legislation is simply a poorly copied version of the legislation that Legislator Morelle and I submitted last week, and it is a clear violation of the rules of the Monroe County Legislature,” said Legislator Yversha Roman in a Tuesday afternoon statement.
Jose Peo, a Rochester City Councilmember, has been outspoken against the off-road vehicles. In an interview with News 8, Peo expressed support for the county effort, but added that more should be done on a city level.
To me, there needs to be accountability,” said Peo. “That’s the big thing.”