Mayor: Cranston service stations can no longer sell fuel for ATVs, illegal vehicles

West Bay

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins is taking action to keep ATVs and other illegal vehicles off the city’s streets.

Hopkins signed a series of new executive orders Friday, one of which mandated the enforcement of an existing ordinance.

That ordinance, he said, prohibits the operation of ATVs, mini-bikes, go-karts and other illegal bikes on any public city property.

Penalties include immediate impounding and the vehicle being subject to confiscation, in addition to any civil penalties imposed by the municipal court as a result.

“We want to be proactive as the weather gets better,” Hopkins said. “We’re being proactive, so we don’t get accidents. We’re trying to be ahead of the curve on this one.”

The mayor also signed an order that requires service stations not to sell fuel to any unregistered vehicles, illegal ATVs, motorcycles, scooters, mini-bikes and go-karts.

These businesses are also required to contact the Cranston Police Department if someone tries to purchase fuel for an illegal vehicle.

The orders are effective immediately, according to Hopkins.

“The thought process out there is we want to forfeit and seize these vehicles, take them off our public roadways,” Cranston Police Department Col. Michael Winquist said. “They don’t belong on public roadways.”

The mayor said he’s working with Cranston City Council President Michael Farina and the city’s police department on further ordinances, which include possible penalties or fines for service stations that don’t comply with the order.

Those penalties, he said, will be put into effect next week.

The orders come two months after an incident where a Cranston police officer was struck and injured by a group of dirt bike and ATV riders.

So far, nine people have been arrested and charged in connection with the incident, according to Winquist.

“A lot of these operators, they’re operating in a reckless manner that’s endangering the motoring public and pedestrians in the city of Cranston, and we will not tolerate it in this city,” Winquist said.

Jeremy Costa, a spokesperson for the motorbike community, said they are angry about this decision, calling it government outreach, discrimination and a pipeline to prison.

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