Suffolk County police launch crackdown on illegal use of ATVs, dirt bikes

YAPHANK, Long Island (WABC) -- Suffolk County police have a new plan to crackdown on ATVs and dirt bikes on public roadways after receiving more than 3,300 calls from residents last year about illegal use of the vehicles.

Chief of Patrol Gerard Hardy explained that under their new plan, officers will first identify the owner of the vehicle and go to the person's house and give them a warning.

Hardy said officers will explain to the person that driving or riding the vehicles on public roads is illegal.

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Hardy said if the person is caught again, police will impound the vehicle and the owner will receive a $500 fine.

If the owner doesn't retrieve the vehicle in 10 days, they will be charged $30 per day for storage.

Hardy said the vehicles could also be destroyed.

New Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison successful cracked down on illegal ATVs and dirt bikes during his time with the NYPD.

"These individuals who ride these unauthorized vehicles have no regard for the vehicle or traffic laws, as well as public safety," Harrison said at a press conference in Yaphank, where police destroyed several impounded ATVs and dirt bikes.

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As part of their crackdown plan, police are also offering a $100 cash reward to people who lead them to a repeated offender owner.

Residents can call 1-800-220-TIPS, and tips will be kept anonymous.

"You'll probably end up saving one of these kids lives," said Pat Fazio, the head of Suffolk County Crime Stoppers. "Because they just don't realize it, they're just reckless."

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