ATV bill moves through City Council committee

All-terrain vehicles riders caught using Philadelphia sidewalks or other city property could be in for steeper fines.

The proposed legislation was the subject of a Wednesday hearing before Philadelphia City Council.



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Pastor Derrick Scudder of the Juniata Action Committee in Northeast Philadelphia says the ATVs are all over streets, sidewalks and parks.

“It’s a dangerous decibel level that’s more than just annoying,” Scudder said. “It’s so loud inside and outside my house that my 3-year-old runs to me shaking when one of these things drives past.”

Marie Parhan, seated in a wheelchair with one prosthetic leg and the other encased in a cast, said she sustained the injuries when she was struck by an ATV as she tried to cross the street in West Philadelphia.

“I had the light. In the meantime, an ATV came along through the light on 52nd Street, hit me,” Parhan said. “When he hit me, he knocked my leg off, smashed my face in. I was just fortunate with the other leg, they saved that one.”

ATV enthusiasts such as Gene Kradzinski want Philadelphia to set aside space for them, so there’s a legal place to ride.

“If you have an off-road vehicle park, No. 1, you are controlling the environment of the people who are riding,” he said. “They are all going to be in a safe environment, they are all going to be going in the same direction, you don’t need a bazillion acres of ground.”

Park officials say they don’t have the room for a park.

Under the proposed measure, those operating ATVs on sidewalks and parks could be fined $2,000 and their vehicles could be impounded and sold by the city.

Operating the ATVs on the streets is banned by Pennsylvania’s motor vehicle code.

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