BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Warmer days are here, and like clockwork illegal ATVs and daring dirt bike dragsters are back on Buffalo’s streets.

“I’m not here to kill the party,” said Buffalo Common Councilmember Mitch Nowakowski. “I’m here to keep people safe.”

It’s a problem that’s been plaguing Buffalo’s streets for years. Hoards of illegal ATVs and dirt bike drivers joyriding through the city.

News 4 captured video of a convoy of those vehicles driving on the Scajaquada expressway earlier this month. One ATV driver made a detour, doing burnouts on the grass at an off-ramp.

“They’ll be in small groups or big groups, said Buffalo resident Marc Frisicaro. They weave in and out, you know, pull out. I sometimes get nervous you’re opening your car door and they’ll take your door off because you just don’t see them coming.”

Fillmore District Councilman Mitch Nowakowski said the city is impounding more of these vehicles than ever before. He said while his district saw a drop in dirt bikers, they moved to other areas.

“For a while, it was hot in Seneca Babcock and then it moved to the waterfront and the Erie Basin Marina, because of the long thoroughfare that’s there,” said Nowakowski. “But, we’ve taken proactive measures to put up barriers and almost design it to be really hard for ATVs to come there.”

Nowakowski said Buffalo Police can’t chase these illegal vehicles.

So, they are taking to the skies with drones to track them down.

He said if residents see illegal ATVs, take down the make and model and call the city.

Buffalo Police are offering a cash reward for tips that lead those vehicles to the impound lot.

You can file a report through the Confidential TIPCALL Line at (716) 847-2255. 

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.