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When considering holiday gifts for your son or daughter, a couple to avoid for New Yorkers should be dirt bikes and ATVs. Otherwise, your budding Evil Knievel could find himself facing charges of reckless driving. Thus far in 2013, there have been over 437 arrests for dirt bike and motorcycle riders, with almost 200 of those being for reckless driving or endangerment. An official with the Bronx district attorney's office says there has been a definite spike in cases featuring ATVs and dirt bikes in the past few years.

Riders and aficionados of the all terrain vehicles and dirt bikes complain that the lack of a sanctioned area somewhere within the city where they are free to ride compounds the situation and leads otherwise law-abiding citizens to become outlaw riders. One solution would be to create a dirt bike park similar to those designed for skateboarders.

These loosely unified biker groups have formed their own culture that crosses racial and neighborhood divides and involves people from high school age to 30 and up. Their shared interests transcend the usual ethnic tensions that surge through poor inner city neighborhoods and forge bonds instead with the disparate group of riders who swap bikes and trick riding tips among themselves.

Police confiscate the bikes whenever they can catch up with the riders, which can be difficult, as the riders have been known to ride against traffic and even up onto sidewalks, creating physical hazards for hapless pedestrians in their paths. Many of the riders are Latino and African American are afraid to stop for police due to the stop-and-frisk laws of New York City.

If you or your child have had a dirt bike seized or a ticket issued for a traffic violation like reckless driving, you can fight back and challenge the seizure and ticket in court. Consult with an experienced lawyer who can fight for your rights in the court system.

Source: nytimes.com, "For New York City's Dirt Bikers, There Is No Place to Ride" Sarah Maslin Nir and J. David Goodman, Nov. 18, 2013

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