ATV complaints in Providence, residents have safety concerns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – As the weather warms up the sounds of dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be heard throughout the streets of Providence.

A number of residents have safety concerns. Our ABC6 news camera captured what are supposed to be off-road motorbikes and ATVs riding on the public streets and doing wheelies.

“There’s definitely a danger issue here, in sharing the road with vehicles that aren’t supposed to be on the road, George Gregorian said.  And you don’t know if they’re going to do fast moves.”

City Councilman, James Taylor, said he would like to see a task force formed to crack down on these drivers, similar to the one recently created for fireworks complaints. 

According to Taylor, many complaints have been received from the Cranston St. area of Providence. The complaints involve loud noises at late hours of the evening and night, often 9 pm or later.

“They’re going through red lights, they’re going on the sidewalk so people don’t feel safe,” Taylor said. “It’s so loud and they’re doing wheelies at 9 o’clock at night, just disregarding all public safety.”

The use of these vehicles on public streets is illegal and can cause a public safety problem.  In 2017 Providence passed an ordinance, which allows police to confiscate anyone illegally drying an ATV or dirt bike.

The Providence Police Department has certain no-chase policies due to public safety liabilities.  According to R.I. state law, police officers may terminate a high-speed pursuit if the dangers created by the pursuit outweigh the need for immediate apprehension.  However, if apprehended by police, the vehicles may be confiscated the owners fined. 

Councilman Taylor suggests if you know of someone who has an ATV or dirt bike in his or her driveway or garage, make an anonymous call to the police in order for them to check it before the owner or owners begin riding the vehicles.  

“Maybe we can get a task force together for ATV’s and really clamp down,”  said Taylor. 

ABC 6 News reached out to Providence Police regarding how many complaints of ATV and Dirt Bike use the department has received this year, in addition to how many ATV’s and Dirt Bikes have been confiscated since the city ordinance was passed in 2017. We did not hear back.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island