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New Haven Officials to Crackdown on Illegal Vehicle

New Haven Police Cruiser Generic
NBC Connecticut

Illegal vehicles, like ATVs and dirtbikes, on the streets of New Haven have been a plague on the city and its residents and the mayor and police will hold a news conference on Thursday about efforts to crack down on the problem.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and members of the New Haven Police Department on Thursday morning announced that they will be enforcing an amendment that they said would strengthen fines and repercussions for people who ride illegal vehicles in New Haven as well as those who sell gasoline that fuels  those vehicles.

In December of 2020, the Board of Alders amended an ordinance, strengthening fines for those operating illegal vehicles on city streets, including pocket bikes, minibikes, dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and more.

It allows for fines to be issued for anyone who operates any motorized recreational vehicle in violation of the ordinance or any owner of any motorized vehicles who knowingly permits its operation.

The fine would be $1,000 for the first violation, $1,500 for the second and $2,000 for a third violation.

A statement from the mayor’s office said the amendment also strengthens violations for underage passengers. Those 16 years and older who ride as passengers on illegal vehicles are subject to a $250 fine.

Police said they issued the first infraction under this ordinance on Wednesday night.

Two 15-year-olds were on an ATV on a sidewalk and it crashed. Police said they cited the father and towed the ATV.  

Elicker said Thursday that the city has a policy not to engage in active pursuits of these drivers for safety issues, so the city has been working on ways to address the problem.

City officials said any employers or owners of gas stations that sell gasoline to illegal vehicles will be given a warning. Any instance after that will result in a $100 fine per occurrence.

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