Residents protest illegal ATVs and dirt bike riding in Philadelphia

Katie Katro Image
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Residents protest illegal ATVs and dirt bike riding in Philadelphia
"It's like living on the side of a landing strip in an airport, very, very loud," said Tom Ferrick on the noise from ATV and dirt bike riders in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Protesters gathered at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to call for quiet on city streets.

The group gathered on Monday night in opposition to ATVs and dirt bikes that have been creating a lot of neighborhood noise.

"It's like living on the side of a landing strip in an airport, very, very loud," said Tom Ferrick, from Fairmount.

Chopper 6 has followed hundreds of ATV riders dodging and weaving all over Philadelphia.

"We are all standing here in solidarity against the ATVs, these noisy cars, these mufflers, all of the things that impact our quality of life," said Amen Brown, State Representative for the 10th District.

SEE ALSO: ATV riders take over Columbus Boulevard near Ben Franklin Bridge

The Action Cam was there as the riders took over the roadway near the Ben Franklin Bridge at about 7:30 p.m.

Cell phone video from one of the protesters captured noisy ATV riders last month

"We can't even walk in our own neighborhood because of these people. So it's an issue, not just the noise -- which goes on at 3 o'clock in the morning, weekends are dreadful -- but it's our lives and our safety, and our good health. And it's not fair to us," said Lita Cohen, from Fairmount.

A city spokesperson told Action News in a statement, "The safety of pedestrians and motorists is paramount, and our Administration takes this issue very seriously. Dirt bikes and ATVs are illegal to operate on city streets. Operators can be ticketed, and vehicles confiscated. Police have been successful in confiscating hundreds of dirt bikes, ATVs, and scooters as part of their efforts to cut down on this illegal activity and will continue to do so."

"It's tragic for our city," said Rick Piper, from Center City.

Neighbors and State Representative Brown say they want to police to send a stronger message.

A sea of ATVs and dirt bikes swarmed Philadelphia streets Friday night. Chopper 6 was overhead as they weaved in and out of traffic.

"The legislation that we passed was that we can now confiscate, and the vehicles are not returned especially if they're unregistered illegal vehicles like dirt bikes and ATVs. So once we confiscate -- we need to crush them. We need to send a message that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior," said Brown.

The city and police are asking for the public's help in these two ways:

  • Anyone who observes this type of activity, or has information regarding planned "ride-outs," is encouraged to contact police.

  • We are also asking the public to report locations where ATVs/DBs are being PARKED and/or stored (if on sidewalks or other private property). It is illegal to have these vehicles - which are not authorized for road use - parked on streets, sidewalks, or other public areas. PPD will confiscate them from those locations. Folks can report locations to 215-686-TIPS, or use the "submit a tip" feature on our website,

A city spokesperson also said, "Ensuring public safety will always remain the number one priority of the Philadelphia Police Department, and traffic enforcement is a huge part of that mission. However, the issue of ATV/Dirt bike enforcement remains a complex issue for our city."