NEW YORK - With a wave of a checkered racing flag, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signaled to a waiting Department of Sanitation bulldozer driver to hit the ignition, release the brakes, step on the gas, and carry out a mission to make an example of dozens of street-illegal motorbikes by crushing them without mercy into scrap metal.
The bulldozer then revved, spewed black exhaust, and proceeded to roll over nearly 100 unregistered dirt bikes, ATVs, and minibikes with the either satisfying or painful — depending on one's perspective — sound of crumpling metal.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the NYPD continues to seize illegal bikes in the name of public safety and order.
"The use of these vehicles puts all New Yorkers at risk — other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and also those operating the illegal bikes themselves," Sewell said. "It is the New Yorkers who live and work in our communities — and who must endure these hazards — who are telling us loud and clear: Get these motorbikes out of our neighborhood.' The NYPD got the message, and that's exactly what we're doing."
Since the start of the year, the NYPD has seized nearly 2,000 illegal motorbikes and ATVs, which is nearly double the number cops confiscated in the same period in 2021. These motorbikes are generally designed for off-road use and don't have the equipment and features that would make them legal to ride on public streets.
"The bikes… generate numerous complaints from New York drivers and pedestrians imperiled by their menacing maneuvers, loud engines, speeding, racing up on sidewalks, and failing to signal," the NYPD said in a statement. "The dangers mount as large groups of individuals aboard these motorized bikes — which lack basic safety equipment — tend to gather and swarm through congested neighborhoods when the weather turns warmer."
The NYPD said it destroys the bikes only after trying to locate their legal owners.
Wondering why the city doesn't either sell or donate the vehicles? Crushing the life out of the bikes ensures they don't end up back on city streets, according to the NYPD.