All Terrain Vehicles or ATV’s are illegal on the streets of Buffalo, but city officials say that doesn’t seem to be serving as much of a deterrent.
ATV’s have been hitting city streets leading to accidents, personal injuries, and even damaging other people’s property.
On Fathers Day, police say, a Buffalo man was riding an ATV outside of the annual Juneteenth Festival in Martin Luther King Park.
Police stopped the ATV momentarily, but then the driver allegedly tried to escape and is now charged with striking the police officers causing serious injury.
While driving an ATV in the city is illegal, it is only a misdemeanor but the driver is facing felonies in connection with the injured officers.
Councilman Joseph Golombek says, “We have to find out where these vehicles are coming from and that is the best way of being able to confiscate them and get the people that are illegally operating them in our districts and get them off the streets.”
Councilman Richard Fontana wants to increase the penalties for illegal operation in the city and impound an ATV longer.
“You try to stop them, you put up a badge, you put up a police car, you have to have a roadblock, they try to go around you. It is ridiculous. It is almost like the old TV shows where they are evading police in the city. Now they just drive right into them and that is unacceptable. We stand behind our police force, and that is why today we are taking the action, hopefully, to start the process to get these penalties raised to help the police fight this issue,” Councilman Richard Fontana said.
Fontana would like to hold onto an impounded ATV, increase the penalties for operating it, and the cost for getting it back.
If the owner fails to claim the seized ATV within the proscribed time period, Fontana would have the vehicle auctioned off in another city, or even another state, to make sure it does not come back to the streets of Buffalo.