ATVs and Dirt Bikes Drivers Illegally Riding on Gloucester City Streets
Sunday, November 13, 2022
William E. Cleary Sr. |CNBNewsnet
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (November 13, 2022)(CNBNews)--An unwelcome group of young men in their 20s and teens driving unlicensed ATVs and Dirt Bikes visited Gloucester City last weekend, riding up and down Broadway at a high rate of speed.
6ABC video image of illegal ATV and dirt bike drivers riding through the City of Philadelphia last summer. (see video below)
On Sunday, November 6, a group of these individuals got gas at one of the gas stations on Broadway at Market Street. An individual told us that a police officer was stopped at the other gas station across the street, also getting gas. "This guy on an ATV does a wheelie and spins towards the cop car, hitting it. The cop did nothing. I asked him why he didn't give the ATV driver a ticket. The cop told me they had been instructed not to ticket these people or arrest them."
We contacted Police Lt. Jason Flood, spokesman for the department, via email and asked him about the alleged incident. We asked the lieutenant if the Gloucester City Police had a standard order not to arrest these individuals. And is it true the department has instructed its officers not to chase them?
Flood said, "Could you provide that person with my office number (856) 456-0901 x1112? I want to speak with them about the alleged incident. Officers may certainly stop offenders for motor vehicle offenses, issue the appropriate tickets, and impound unregistered vehicles operating on a public road. No orders to the contrary were issued. However, the New Jersey Attorney General severely restricts initiating a pursuit for motor vehicle offenses in the Use of Force Addendum B- Vehicular Pursuit Policy (Please see the attachment).
After reading the first part of the 16-page Addendum, we understand why Gloucester City police are in a no-win situation when dealing with gangs riding ATVs and other vehicles illegally on city streets.
Section 1.3 reads, “In recognition of this data and the substantial human costs associated with high-speed vehicular pursuits, this Policy further restricts the circumstances under which pursuits can be undertaken. The offenses for which officers may pursue suspects has been limited to only the most serious crimes. Significantly, both auto theft and most drug offenses have been removed from the list of crimes authorizing the initiation of a pursuit. This Policy creates a strong presumption against the initiation of pursuits for traffic violations and prohibits continuation of a pursuit based on the risk created by the speed or evasive driving of the fleeing suspect during the pursuit itself. It also requires greater oversight by supervisors, and mandates that a pursuit be terminated unless a supervisor affirmatively authorizes it to be continued.
See the complete mandate HERE.
The person we spoke to never gave us their name.
We asked the Lieutenant several questions, including what his department was doing about these individuals faced with the mandate from the Attorney General. And we wanted to know if someone driving an ATV ran into a parked police car. Lastly, was any member of this gang arrested last Sunday?
As of this date, we haven't received a response from Lt. Flood.
Philadelphia police have been dealing with this problem for some time. Like police in Gloucester City, they cannot chase them for fear of public safety.
According to 6ABC News, police said public safety is their number one priority which is why they can't pursue these riders through the city.
Recently, Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved legislation to amend the city's traffic code to include dirt bikes, ATVs, and dune buggies as illegal street vehicles.
The colder weather will most likely put these individuals into hibernation.
But, by chance, they decide to ride through the city again, and you see them take a picture and send it to CNBNews for publication. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Below is a 6ABC video of 100s of ATVs and dirt bikes riding illegally through Philadelphia last summer.