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Yonkers cracks down on unregistered motorbikes through "Half the Wheels, All the Laws" initiative

Yonkers takes steps to get unregistered motorcycles, mopeds off streets
Yonkers takes steps to get unregistered motorcycles, mopeds off streets 02:05

YONKERS, N.Y. -- They're some of the top quality of life complaints in New York City and the suburbs: unregistered motorcycles and mopeds driving dangerously and sometimes used in criminal activity. 

New York's third-largest city, Yonkers, is taking serious steps to get the 2-wheelers off the street, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Friday. 

Unregistered motorbikes are parked near Joe Annabi's street and often zoom past his house. 

"I think it's terrible," Annabi said. 

He worries about accidents and injuries. 

"If they don't have insurance, how they gonna pay?" he said. 

Uninsured, unregistered and often unsafe. Now, seized and taken off the road. 

"There's too many of them on the streets. Yonkers has been somewhat aggressive in picking them up and we're towing anywhere from five to 10 a week on average," said Ronnie DeConne from County Towing. 

County Towing and three other firms have seized hundreds in recent months at the direction of Yonkers Police as they pursue a quality of live initiative, "Half the Wheels, All the Laws," targeting unregistered motorbikes. 

"They're going through red lights, they're driving on the sidewalk, they're parking on sidewalks. They're cutting people off, and more importantly they're hitting people," said Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza. 

Sapienza said it's a top complaint of Yonkers residents and a concern on many levels. Police say the unregistered bikes are often used in the commission of crimes. 

"Someone who is looking to do no good is using an illegal motorcycle or moped. So by us engaging them, it really sends the message that maybe we shouldn't use these vehicles to conduct criminal enterprise," Sapienza said. 

Many of the bikes seized lack mirrors, turn signals and other required safety equipment. It's hard to believe some were even on the road. One was literally held together with duct tape. 

"They don't meet the basic, minimum legal safety requirements. They shouldn't be on the road," DeConne said. 

Most owners don't even bother trying to reclaim the bikes before they're destroyed.

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