FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(PHILADELPHIA) Thursday September 20, 2012—Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a bill on behalf of the Nutter Administration that establishes restrictions, penalties and provides for enforcement related to the use of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) in the City of Philadelphia. The bill restricts riders from operating, parking, stopping, placing or standing ATVs on a public sidewalk or public property including parks and recreation centers unless authorized by law. Riders who are found to be in violation of the ordinance risk forfeiture of the vehicle, or a $2000 fine, to be issued by the Philadelphia Police Department. Vehicles will be confiscated by the Police, who will dispose of the ATVs either by destruction or in a manner that prevents the vehicles from easily making their way back to Philadelphia streets. “This bill is in response to what many of my colleagues will tell you is the number one complaint from constituents—the illegal riding of ATVs throughout streets and neighborhoods in Philadelphia. My office has spent the summer speaking with a host of stakeholders including the Police, the Nutter Administration, community leaders and ordinary citizens who have been impacted from all angles of the issue,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown. “There is no silver bullet answer that will alleviate the concerns of those who seek to ride ATVs and those who are put in harm’s way by the activity. This is step one—the first in a series of proposals that must occur in order for us to get a handle on this complicated and multi-layered issue.” According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 521 deaths have been recorded in Philadelphia from 1982-2010 as a result of ATVs; from 1982-2006, 105 deaths were of children under the age of 16. Philadelphia Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis said, “I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the City partners, specifically Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, and community leaders who we’ve been working with on this issue for many months now. ATVs are a public safety threat that cause significant damage to our City’s parks and recreation centers. These illegal vehicles prohibit the majority of children, youth and families from enjoying these spaces in the manner for which they were intended. This legislation is another viable tool to help us protect our City’s treasured public spaces.” Other large cities have implemented solutions to crack down on the problem. Sting operations are conducted in New York City and in Baltimore, gas stations are banned from providing fuel to ATVs and parents could be jailed for allowing a minor to ride. The Councilwoman intends to continue working closely with the Mayor’s Office, Police, concerned citizens and community leaders to ensure a collaborative effort resulting in a series of recommendations and best practices that make sense for Philadelphia.
For additional information please contact the Chief of Staff, David Forde at (215) 686-3438