SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Drag racing, ATV’s and dirt bikes have been giving drivers and police trouble in the city of Springfield.
Police are incorporating new strategies to keep dirt bike riders off the streets, but it’s not something they can do alone. Dirt bike and ATV riders have been spotted riding illegally in Springfield streets this summer. Drag racing has also been a problem, particularly in the North End.
Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said, “We’re taking the drag racing the ATVs, seriously. We’ll be out again this coming weekend, we will focus in the North End area, the parks we are trying to protect.”
Last week, police seized eight dirt bikes and issued eight criminal complaints. Most of the dirt bike riders weaving in and out of traffic, are groups of teenagers. This issue has Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno fired up.
“What is wrong with you people, don’t you realize you can get hurt yourself, and you can get hurt yourself, and you can put other drivers at risk, no fault of their own,” said Mayor Sarno.
Springfield police have special units to track down these riders in the streets. Police have been cracking down on this illegal activity all summer, but they said they need more help from the parents of these riders.
Sarno added, “This a lot of times stems from home and I think if parents would step up, I’m sure they are aware of it. And tell their young person.”
Police strategically don’t chase down riders in the street, out of public safety. But they have been using a real crime analysis tool, which uses video to keep track of dirt bikers’ locations.
Police added that just this weekend alone they made 12 arrests, and issued 41 civil motor vehicle citations related to this issue.