PETERSBURG, Va.-- Petersburg 911 received a dozen calls complaining about ATVs and dirt bikes riding, and sometimes popping wheelies, on city streets.
The calls came in over two-hour period on Saturday. They stopped after a 14-year-old boy on an ATV crashed into a car near the intersection of High Pearl Street and Saint Mark Street.
“I just want these kids off the streets with these dirt bikes and all this,” one caller said in a 911 call obtained by CBS 6.
Petersburg Police said the teen ran a stop sign and slammed into the front of a vehicle. His ATV wedged up under the vehicle's front bumper.
A red-light camera caught two dirt bikes and two ATVs riding down West Washington Street Saturday afternoon.
“This is a problem that has escalated through time,” Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham, who has witnessed a group of illegal riders in the city, said.
Six years ago, on March 16, 2012, CBS 6 reported on an ATV crash on Walnut Hill Avenue.
In that instance, an ATV driver ran into the side of a SUV and ended up being flown by medical helicopter to VCU Medical Center.
Police were kept busy for more than two hours with this latest incident. The mayor said Petersburg City Council was looking to tackle the problem.
“We’re planning on getting in touch on enforcing a new ordinance that’s going to take place, in which we plan on seizing their ATVs now,” he said.
The city would like to have an ordinance akin to ones in Maryland and the District of Columbia, both confiscate and then destroy seized ATVs and dirt bikes.
Lindsay Cliborne has worked in Petersburg for more than a decade and said she sees groups of riders, anywhere from several times a month to several times a week.
“All the time and it's young kids and it will be during school hours or just during the work day,” Cliborne said. “It’s actually dangerous you know, and with the accident that just happened, it’s obviously not a good thing for young kids”.
The next Petersburg City Council meeting is April 3.