New York City can keep its ATV-riding “knuckleheads” to itself. Long Island has plenty of its own.
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton announced a crackdown Monday on aggressive riders of all-terrain vehicles who use the unregistered bikes and scooters on city streets. “Let them go to Long Island,” Bratton said, arguing that there isn’t enough room in the city for the riders and their often-illegal behavior, and throwing the knucklehead label around.
Well, we don’t have the room or the patience for them out here either, if they’re not behaving properly. Laws in both Nassau and Suffolk counties prohibit ATVs and other unregistered motorized vehicles on highways, roads, in parks and on public land, although the vehicles are allowed on private property with an owner’s permission. State law requires ATVs and off-road motorcycles to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Bratton probably meant that Long Island, in some places, has more space for off-road fun. But the big problem with riders here can be the same as in the five boroughs: Swarms of riders careen through the streets, ignore traffic laws and endanger themselves and others with their frightening tricks and stunts.
Bratton says riders will be ticketed and their vehicles destroyed in the city’s crackdown. That makes sense. But if the commissioner thinks the riders are such dangerous lawbreakers, he ought to know better than to encourage them to take their crimes out east. He likely meant no harm, but hey, don’t export your problems here. — The editorial board