New law doubles fine for illegal ATV use on public roads in Suffolk County amid flood of complaints

Stacey Sager Image
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Illegal ATV use complaints topped 1,500 in Suffolk County last year
A new law which doubles the fine for illegal ATV use on public roads in Suffolk County comes after officials received a flood of complaints last year. Stacey Sager has the story.

SUFFOLK COUNTY (WABC) -- A new law which doubles the fine for illegal ATV use on public roads in Suffolk County comes after officials received a flood of complaints last year.

Suffolk County Police say the received more than 1,500 complaints in 2022.

Not only are ATVs not allowed on roadways, drivers say in some cases, it's been much more dangerous.

"Like road rage issues. where drivers are stopping, and then these illegal ATV riders, they want to face off against drivers," Suffolk County Legislator James Mazzerella said.

Police have confiscated 124 of the illegal all terrain vehicles, but lawmakers wanted to do more so the new legislation also gives authorities more leeway to seize left behind ATVs.

"Additionally, if a driver flees a police officer, that officer can seize the ATV that is left behind," Bellone said.

Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison, who is all too familiar with the problem of illegal ATV use from his work here in New York City, hopes informing people of the new laws will help deter the illegal activity.

"The strategy is this outreach, reaching out to the individuals riding the ATV's or their guardians and talk to them about some of the safety issues," Harrison said.

As part of the legislation, first time offenders can now be forced to pay as much as $1,000, a second offense could cost $3,000, and and third time offenders would be looking at a fine up to $7,500.

Authorities are also urging residents who see ATV's out on the roads to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Tipsters could receive a $200 reward.

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