NORRISTOWN- The Norristown community has experienced an increase in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and dirt bike activity on municipal streets. These vehicles are operated illegally on public streets without the required registration and insurance. Some of the identified operators have suspended licenses. The operators frequently disregard traffic control signs and weave through traffic in a reckless manner. Although there have been very few accidents involving these vehicles, our concern is that someone will get seriously injured or killed because of their reckless behavior.
We have witnessed adults driving small children with no helmets, teens riding recklessly, and both ATVs and dirt bikes operating on properties such as school grounds, causing damage to fields. Operators will also pop wheelies while in traffic on major roadways, causing operators of other vehicles to slow or stop in order to prevent striking them. While this behavior is reckless and causes concern, most of the offenses, for which they can be charged, are summary violations.
The Norristown Police Department has identified a number of the known offenders and the vehicles they operate. Pictures of the bikes, ATV’s and operators have been circulated through patrol. Officers have been instructed to record the operators with their in car cameras and body worn cameras. Enforcement action will be done, for those that can be identified. Citations have already been mailed based on video evidence. Locations, where bikes and ATVs are being stored, have been shared for officers to further investigate. Officers will not pursue these riders as the risk to the public safety outweighs the risks presented by the driving habits of the operators. Unregistered and uninsured ATVs and dirt bikes, when stopped on the street, will be towed pursuant to department policy.