News ReleaseFor Immediate Release: July 14, 2023
Durham Police Continue to Address Illegal Dirt Bikes/ATVs
The Durham Police Department continues to address the illegal use of dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). These vehicles pose a danger to their operators, pedestrians and other motorists when operated unlawfully on streets and highways. Flagrant and persistent disregard for the law, rights and safety of others will not be tolerated.
NCGS 20-171.19 defines prohibited acts by owners and operators of ATVS. Subsection (d) states, in part, “no person shall operate an all-terrain vehicle in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property.” Subsection (e) states, “except as otherwise permitted by law, no person shall operate an all-terrain vehicle on any public street, road, or highway except for purposes of crossing that street, road, or highway.”
For a dirt bike to effectively be made street legal, it must abide by the laws applicable to motorcycles. The operator must possess a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle license endorsement; wear a safety helmet that complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard; and have registered the vehicle with the NC DMV with valid insurance after passing a state inspection. The vehicle must adhere to the minimum equipment requirements prescribed for motorcycles in NCGS Chapter 20: headlamps, rear lamps, stop lamps; a functioning horn; a street legal exhaust system; at least one rearview mirror; a functioning odometer and speedometer; and display the assigned registration number plate in a clean and unobstructed, horizontal upright position.
The Durham Police Department would like to provide the community with the following safety and reporting tips regarding illegal dirt bikes and ATV activity:
1. Be aware of your surroundings when operating your own vehicle. It is important to make every attempt to stay out of the way of vehicles being operated unlawfully and/or recklessly to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Dirt bikes and ATVs are agile vehicles capable of making quick movements without regard for safety. Moreover, their smaller size may make them difficult to see.
2. Report every observation of unlawful activity on street/highways in the City of Durham by calling our non-emergency number, 919-560-4600 or 911. Be ready to provide your location, a detailed description of the violator(s), and their direction of travel.
3. Share any information concerning people, businesses or other locations associated with this illegal activity with the Durham Police Department using our new online form or by emailing [email protected]. Send us your photos or videos! The online form or email address can be used for text-based information. Any photos, videos or other recordings can be shared via the AXON Community Evidence Submission, using the attached QR code or following the link. Do not go out of your way to take photos or videos of any illegal activity.
4. Remain Anonymous by reporting any criminal activity to CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. Calls are answered twenty-four hours in English and in Spanish if you choose to remain anonymous. Tips that lead to a felony arrest may be eligible to receive a cash reward ranging from $100 to $2,000 dollars, depending on the severity of the crime.
The Durham Police Department has initiated a multi-jurisdictional task force to direct a coordinated response to this unlawful and reckless activity. This includes engaging a variety of stakeholders in educative and preventative dialogue while continuing to take enforcement action against those who break the law. Stay tuned and follow us on social media for additional information and updates.