BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Large groups of ATV and dirt bike riders have returned to Buffalo's city streets. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the police department ran an operation over the weekend targeting ATVs.
"It's almost like the attitude of the riders is becoming more brazen," Mitch Nowakowski, the Buffalo Common Council Member for the Fillmore District, said, "It's a terrible place to be in the world. For people to be that brazen and inconsiderate of residents in the City of Buffalo."
"They're digging up our trails. Leaving marks all over our parks. It's just been a nuisance and a very difficult problem to stop," Bryan Bollman, Buffalo Common Council Member for the Lovejoy District, said.
Riders use social media to form massive groups to meet up.
"There was a meeting location in my district at the Wendy's. I heard there were about 50 different groups meeting up there and just cruising throughout the streets," Bollman said.
The Buffalo Police Department has a safety policy not to chase ATVs or dirt bikes.
"It's dangerous for ATVs to be engaged with on the road. It can take out pedestrians and harm people severely. That's why there's a no chase policy," Nowakowski said.
Last year, the Buffalo Common Council expanded the consequences of illegal driving.
"If someone has one, the Buffalo Police can take them. If the person can prove they're the owner, and they were legally purchased, the person would have to prove that information. Then they have a $2,500 fine. If they can't prove that, it stays impounded. If the vehicle is taken two times, then it is permanently impounded," Joel Feroleto, Buffalo Common Council Member for the Delaware District, said.
Common Council Members said the key to ending the illegal use of dirt bikes and ATVs is community members coming forward with information. They said community members can report on illegal dirt bike or ATV activity using the police non-emergency number or by calling 311. The Buffalo Police non-emergency number is 716-853-2222.
They encourage community members to gather as much information on the vehicles as possible, including color, make and model.
"It's going to take communities coming together and notifying authorities to get this problem done," Nowakowski said.
"Stay off city streets. Please," Feroleto said.