Solutions, safety discussed at public forum on dirt bikes, ATVs

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A public form on bike safety was held Tuesday evening, hosted by State Assemblymember Demond Meeks. 

“The purpose of this public meeting will be to hear directly from local bike clubs about the recent use of off road vehicles and discuss potential remedies and restorative solutions to provide an outlet for our bike clubs and keep everyone safe,” Meeks wrote of the meeting in a Facebook post.

The forum, held virtually, featured several panelists, including city residents who ride off-road vehicles, as well as city and county leaders.

“What made you take to riding the ATV, or the offroad vehicle, and what’s your motivation behind it?” Meeks asked.

“Once I started riding,” responded Lorenzo Jones, a resident who rides an off-road vehicle, “it gave me a sense of belonging and freedom.”

Riding off-road vehicles provides a community for many; opponents, however, have pointed out loud noise and potential dangers caused by their use on local streets.

A recent effort in the Monroe County Legislature is looking to impose fines to retrieve the vehicles from impoundment, a measure intended to curb illegal bike use.

One solution discussed by the panel: a designated city space to ride the bikes, ATVs and off-road vehicles.

“Maybe we can look at ways to get some space,” said Meeks, “to make sure people are engaging in this activity in a safe manner.”

Safety is atop the minds of many regarding dirt bikes and ATV’s after several fatal accidents last month. One proposal discussed by panelists: giving out helmets to riders, for free or for a small fee.

The county legislature plans to hold a forum on its proposed off-road vehicle legislation Tuesday, May 11.

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