NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The New Bedford City Council shut down a proposal to fly drones over the city to help combat the illegal use of ATVs.

The idea, according to Councilor-at-large Brian Gomes, was to have drones follow the ATVs and then officers could address those riding them once they’re parked.

“We have an ongoing problem with ATVs and motorbikes on our city streets,” Gomes said. “They’re terrorizing our streets, terrorizing our motorists, driving on the sidewalks…”

While councilors all agreed ATVs are an issue in the city, the majority of them weren’t interesting in utilizing drones to help stop it.

Instead, councilors approved a separate motion that asks New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira to help pass an ordinance that addressed the surge in illegal ATV use.

Councilor Shane Burgo said the drone proposal feels like an overreach of power.

“I’m worried about what that could lead to,” Burgo said.

Oliveira agrees that something needs to be done. He said there haven’t been too many reports of ATVs on city streets recently, but historically, he knows they will be out in full force this summer.

“It’s everything. Speeding, sidewalks, doing wheelies, cutting through traffic, terrorizing…” Oliveira told the city council. “It’s a sensitive matter and I wish there were an easy solution .”

Oliveira said he’s open to any suggestions that would help make the city’s streets safer for everyone.

The motion that passed will now head to the New Bedford Ordinance Committee, where it will be discussed further.