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Cleveland cracks down on ATVs, dirt bikes as temperatures go up

Cleveland City Council passes more restrictive ordinance for illegal riding as summer approaches
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 12:36 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Illegal riders have terrorized Cleveland streets and the city wants the burning rubber and dangerous driving to stop.

“We have seen our streets impacted by dirt bikes, ATVs, intersections taken over by people engaged in trick riding, doing donuts,” Cleveland safety director Karrie Howard told Cleveland Council’s safety committee.

Council president Blaine Griffin wants to solve the problem and co-sponsored legislation to increase fines and tighten laws.

“We’re going to hold people accountable for breaking the law in this city,” Griffin said.

The fines have gone from $50 and $100 to $500 and $1,000.

“You’re speeding, you’re disregarding the traffic laws in the city of Cleveland, you pay the price,” said the bill’s other co-sponsor, Ward 8 Councilman Mike Polensek, who represents Collinwood.

The new law also broadens rules for “unreasonable noise,” “disturbing the peace” and activity “detrimental to the life or health of any individual.” It also allows the city to decommission and destroy vehicles of offenders to get them off the streets for good.

“”When they break the law and when they’re out their causing the disruption and terror that they are, it’s unacceptable,” said Griffin.

The new law comes just days after “Operation Wheels Down,” a sting operation that resulted in 15 felony arrests and 30 citations over the weekend.

“My residents want the law enforced in our city,” said Polensek.

Council will next vote on a proposal to make some main roads like Lorain Avenue more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, another way to reduce speeds and make streets safer.

Council has one more meeting, Monday, June 6, before summer recess.

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