ATV Riding Is An Extreme Sport.
It’s Also Illegal in Philly.

It’s a clear, crisp summer evening in Philly.

Visitors and citizens of one of America’s most historic cities are enjoying the best of summer weekends in Center City.


Pedestrians enjoy a walk around Center City. Restaurants and bars are crowded with people trying to take in a warm summer evening in the City, which includes shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Suddenly, the night air is pierced with a roar of ATV engines speeding down Broad Street. Riders go around cars at stop lights, ride up onto curbs, and accelerate down the streets that once accommodated horses and carriages in the days of the American Revolution.

There are many places in Pennsylvania where ATV riding is legal.

Philadelphia’s streets are not one of them. The vehicles were made illegal in the City in 2022.

On Tuesday night, a Philadelphia Police Officer was struck by an ATV around 7:15 p.m. The crash happened near the Packer Avenue off-ramp on Interstate 95 North.


In February of 2023, dozens of ATVs swarmed North Broad Street.


Photo: UnSplash.com

In Pennsylvania, each ATV must have a registration and a title. You must also have a numbered plate on the ATV and be at least eight years of age when operating it on Pennsylvania state land. Almost all ATV bikes are illegal to ride in Philadelphia.

Each ATV has an average cost between $6,000.00 and $16,000.00.

In response to incidents like these in the City, the Philadelphia Police have formed the ATV Dirt Bike Detail in order to combat he threat. To date, in 2024, the Detail has recovered 75 illegal ATVs, dirt bikes, and off-road vehicles.

Today, Enduro and Quadcross Racing Sections of Racing Clubs are quite common in Britain and the US. Both GNCC Racing and the ATV National Motocross Championship were formed in the 1980s. ATVMX averages 500 riders in each weekend of competition.

The street that ATV’s cruise down were first imagined when surveyor Thomas Holme planned Philadelphia at the direction of William Penn in 1682.


It was Broad Street — one of the first streets named in Philadelphia that actually had a terminus in what then was 17th-century wilderness.  It remains the longest urban boulevard in the entire US today.
On Broad Street, the ATV engines and police sirens faded into the far-away night air until the next time extreme sports took control of Philadelphia’s streets.

Photo: UnSplash.com

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