UTICA, N.Y. – A new ordinance proposed in Utica Thursday would allow the city to issue hefty fines for illegal operation of an ATV.
After receiving dozens of complaints, Mayor Robert Palmieri says the proposal aims to prevent people from illegally operating ATVs within city limits.
“My office, along with UPD, receive calls about illegal ATVs use on a regular basis. This proposed legislation was crafted to curtail this activity, and to give UPD the resources and enforcement it needs to substantively address this issue,” said Palmieri.
If the ordinance passes, anyone riding in the city could be fined $500, and have their ATV confiscated. The owner of the ATV would then have to pay $2,500 to get the ATV back. If the vehicle isn’t claimed within 60 days, the city would be able to put it up for auction.
Utica Police Chief Mark Williams says this effort will better protect the community.
“ATVs and other off-road vehicles pose safety hazards to the rider and other motorist, as well as causing neighborhood disruptions and property damage. They are not designed to be used on the road. The riders tend to be young and unskilled at navigating these off-road vehicles, which resulted in them being crashed into motor vehicles, buildings, fire hydrants and trees,” said Williams.
The legislation will be formally introduced at Utica Common Council’s next meeting on Wednesday, May 19.
Separate from the ordinance, the city and UPD are partnering to offer a $100 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the confiscation of an ATV. Any residents who see illegal ATV activity can report it to Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-866-730-8477 or www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com.