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    Thursday, August 18, 2022

    New London police ask for public's help to curb illegal dirt bikes

    New London — City police are again asking for the public's help to keep dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles off the streets.

    Police said illegal dirt bikes and ATV use in the city "is extremely dangerous and beyond concerning." They asked for any information to help officers investigate and identify the riders.

    The request included a call for people to take photos and videos when they see illegal dirt bike and ATV riders — but only if it's safe to do so, police emphasized.

    Officials for years have talked about the dangers posed by drivers of illegal vehicles going through traffic signals, popping wheelies, riding three or more abreast and speeding the wrong way on one-way streets.

    "Let us know who these riders are and where these bikes/ATVs are kept and we can attempt to manage this dangerous activity before someone gets seriously hurt or much worse," police said in a Facebook post this week.

    In June 2018, the New London City Council passed an ordinance to curb illegal dirt bikes and ATV use — outlawing any unregistered ATV, dirt bike, pocket bike and mini motorcycle on public streets and in parks, at schools and on sidewalks, as well as on private property without written permission of the property owner.

    Riders found in violation face $1,000 fines for a first offense, $1,500 for a second and $2,000 for a third and subsequent offenses. And passengers won't hold on to their cash, either, as they're subject to $100 fines for each offense. Retailers and auto dealers must post a copy of the ordinance or face a $100 fine, and gasoline retailers are banned from selling gas to riders.

    Police said information, including photos and video, can be sent via email to publicportal@newlondonct.org or online at bit.ly/3nw3A67. Tips can also be sent anonymously via the NLPD Tips 411 system by texting "NLPDTip" plus the information to TIP411.

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