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Issues with illegal dirt bikes and ATVs persist in Buffalo

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Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 13:40:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — ATVs and dirt bikes continue to take over Buffalo Streets, surrounding cars and terrorizing drivers.

"If I have to drive safe on the streets, so should they. They should not be reckless and putting people's lives in danger," Brian Lauer, a concerned member of the community, said, "I keep a farther distance. As far as I could. I always keep looking left and right to make sure they're not around or coming out of a side street. Most time if I feel it's too dangerous, I cut over to a side street just to be out of the danger and out of the chaos."

Now, that chaos has turned deadly. A 21-year-old man was killed in an accident involving an unregistered dirt bike Tuesday.

"I mean I understand a gentleman lost his life here. It's tragic. We don't want to see anybody else being buried. I need to have the Common Council come together and have a meeting, hear the outcry of their constituents," Lauer said.

Lauer said leaders in Buffalo need to do more. While he said he understands Buffalo Police have a safety policy not to chase these vehicles, and the Buffalo Common Council has increased fines and penalties for operating these vehicles illegally, he believes it's not enough because the issue is still happening.

"What else can we do? You do one big sweep Memorial Day, and you don't ever do it again. They're laughing at us. These bikes? They're laughing at us. Now they're taking over roadways and blocking thruways. They're laughing. The law is laughable and that's not right," Lauer said.

But Buffalo Police said they do have the proper recourse. They just need the community's help.

"As it stands right now, we do have pretty sufficient recourse that we can take overall to address the issue, but we're going to need the public's cooperation to make sure it's as effective as it can be," Buffalo Police Captain Tommy Champion said.

Police said to call 911 if you see dirt bikes or ATVs on the road. If you see one parked and not moving, call their tip line at 716-847-2255.

"And if the citizen's information leads to the confiscation of those vehicles, they actually get a $100 reward," Champion said.

According to police, since Memorial Day officers have seized 14 ATVs/dirt bikes.