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Reducing illicit ATV and dirt bike activity in Irondequoit; providing an update on the special police detail



Irondequoit, New York – The problem of illegal dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) is not limited to Rochester.

Irondequoit police are keeping up a detail aimed at apprehending the off-road vehicles.
To assist in apprehending individuals who are driving unlawfully, officers use their personal ATVs. The municipal government provided grants and funds for them to purchase their four vehicles.

IPD has fielded numerous calls since launching this program in the summer of 2023, and they have seized 11 ATVs and dirt bikes—nine in 2023 and two this year.

“We’ve had 160 reported incidents as far as annoyances or illegal dirt bike activity and that could be they are going through town or just circling East Ridge Road and then going back into the city,” said Irondequoit Police Chief Scott Peters. “We’ve written about 50 UTS’ or traffic tickets, and I think we’ve actually had a couple physical arrests also.”

The weather and staff availability determine how frequently the details are run.

“We look for warmer days,” explained Chief Peters. “If we have extra people, we’ll put them out there to deal with doing traffic detail in conjunction with these illegal dirt-bike details.”

Because their vehicles lack fundamental safety measures like traffic signals, unlicensed off-road drivers may risk serious consequences beyond just legal penalties. For example, they may suffer from shattered bones.

35 individuals were treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital in 2023 after they had been using ATVs.

“The people that we see that are injured on a dirt bike or ATV tend to be more severely injured,” said Dr. Derek Wakeman, the pediatric trauma medical director at Golisano. “And often, it’s because they’re thrown from the vehicle. They’re separated from the vehicle.”

Chief Peters asserts that the problem is not exclusive to any one age group.
In addition, he thinks that the detail will shield any onlookers from harm.

“That’s what we are really afraid of, is somebody is just not going to care, and they are just going to drive through this whole group of people,” said Peters.

Chief Peters recommends users to use their ATVs and dirt bikes in authorized areas, like trails, in addition to donning helmets.