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Gov. Wolf signs law that targets illegal ATVs and dirt bikes on the roads

The law would allow local police to sell the vehicles or destroy them.
Credit: AP
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, in this file photo from Jan. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Illegal ATVs and dirt bikes have been an ongoing issue in Central Pennsylvania for quite some time, according to some law enforcement officials and lawmakers.

Now Governor Tom Wolf signed a law that allows police to sell or destroy the vehicles operating where they don’t belong -- on public roads.

Not everyone is a fan of the new law.

“Let them ride," said York resident Claun Woodson. "You rather them out here shooting guns or selling drugs? Let them ride."

The bill Wolf signed into law makes it unlawful to operate a snowmobile, dirt bike or ATV on any street or highway which is not designated and posted as a snowmobile, dirt bike or an ATV road.

One of the authors of the law State Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) said in a statement:

"We have seen countless incidences of property being destroyed, injuries to pedestrians and the tragic loss of life of innocent bystanders due to these reckless actions. I want to thank my colleagues in the senate for their support to give law enforcement the tools necessary to keep these vehicles off the streets."

The law would allow local police to sell the vehicles or destroy them. Some community members understand where they’re coming from, but they believe there needs to be a compromise. 

“They got to come to a solution where everybody’s happy," Woodson said. "They can’t just be taking somebody’s bike that they paid for, you know what I mean? And you can’t be just riding around the city all different times of the night, making noise, you know? It goes both ways if you ask me."

The law comes in response to the rise of illegal operation of dirt bikes and ATVs on the roadways.

Some community members feel space should be provided for the riders.

“I do know a lot of friends that do own them and I know a lot of those people are trying to get out and have fun," said Lancaster resident Keenan Hudson. "If, say for instance they took different avenues, they maybe build them a park or told them of specific trails they could go on that are close to cities, maybe we give them a better avenue of taking places to ride on instead of the city."

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