In April, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said that law enforcement would step up their efforts to seize illegal motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATVs ahead of the summer months and that these vehicles “don’t belong in New York City.” The mayor added that enforcement was going to be “very aggressive.”
Police have seized over 312 bikes and ATVs this year, more than double the number taken in the same amount of time last year, and their plan included raiding storage facilities and setting up check-points to arrest drivers.
Law enforcement and the mayor say that the riders are dangerous to other vehicles and pedestrians, causing problems across New York’s five boroughs. To dissuade drivers from using city streets the confiscated vehicles were crushed during an event streamed live on Facebook.
Tensions heated over the issue after video surfaced of a gang of motorcyclists harassing a driver and dragging him out of an SUV and beating him. Close to 80% of the bikes and ATVs taken were not returned to their owners, and Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez hopes to get that number up to 100%.
The city apprehends riders whenever possible but because of safety concerns the police department has a “no chase” policy in place. Police precincts have been using social media to spread the word, and continue to Tweet about seizures using the hashtag #UseItAndLoseIt to discourage other potential stunt drivers.
Earlier this month, police Commissioner Bill Bratton surveyed the condemned vehicles before waving a checkered flag to signal a pair of bulldozers to do their thing. Dozens of dirt bikes and ATVs were already packed into a narrow space defined by rows of portable barriers. At Bratton’s signal the bulldozers ran back and forth over the rows of vehicles.
It was over quickly, with little left but a pile of rubble. The metal remnants from the “Crush In” will be recycled.
Photo credit: @NYPDNews Twitter