Several police dept’s say they weren’t notified the ATV-dirt bike law was in effect
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) —News10NBC is trying to figure what’s going on with the new Monroe County law aimed at ATVs and dirt bikes that we’ve all seen race down sidewalks and streets and menace people in their cars.
The law was signed by the County Executive and filed with the state four weeks ago.
But none of the police departments who spoke to News10NBC said they’re charging the hefty fines in the new law. The fines are supposed to be an incentive for the owners of the ATVs and dirt bikes to keep them off the road.
The police departments I spoke to say they never received notification from the county the law is in effect.
"Since the beginning of the summer we’ve confiscated about 10," said Irondequoit Police Chief Alan Laird. "Per our policy, they’re impounded and taken to our contract tow yard."
The tow yard is at Cristo Towing and Impound on Ridge Road in Irondequoit. Today, there was still one impounded motorbike.
Blake Hunt is the owner.
The off-road bike owners must certify proof of ownership and registration with the local police.
Then they bring that certification to the impound. Hunt charges a towing and storage fee and releases the off-road bike. He doesn’t charge the new $500 dollar impound fee listed in the county’s ATV-dirt bike law.
News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Is there any other fees or fines on top of that you guys need to charge?"
Blake Hunt, Cristo Towing: "No. No that would be up to whatever citations were issued at the time of the stop."
And the local courts handle the citations.
The county law says the owners of impounded off-road bikes can get their bikes back with proof of ownership and "payment of a redemption fee of $500 to the impounding Police Department." If it happens a second time, the fee is "$2,000."
The law was stamped by the New York Department of State on June 25th and it says it will "take effect after filing with the Secretary of State."
Irondequoit, Greece, and Gates Police say they have not charged that $500 dollar impound fee.
Check out Berk’s initial story at 5 p.m.
Some of the impounding happened before June 25, but they and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told me they’ve never received notification from the county that the law is in effect.
I asked the County Executive’s Office for clarification. I have not received a response.
Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Legislator: "I submitted an amendment saying let’s track how many of these dirt bikes and ATVs we’re seizing and how many are being redeemed."
Rachel Barnhart is a Democratic county lawmaker. Her amendment was defeated when the bill came to a vote in May.
Rachel Barnhart: "We’re continuing to get complaints, we’re continuing to see accidents, we’re continuing to see injuries and even fatalities. Is this working? How do we know if we don’t have the data."
RPD told us the law is so new it’s too early to say whether it’s effective.
I asked the chief’s office how many ATVs have you impounded and how many fines did you levy?
RPD did not provide answers.