MIAMI (CBSMiami) — On two wheels and four, motorcyclists and ATV riders have taken to the streets and highways of Miami-Dade and Broward counties on recent Martin Luther King Days, doing wheelies and other forms of so-called “stunting” and breaking just about every traffic law on the books. Wednesday, law enforcement tried to put the brakes on at a joint news conference held by Miami-Dade Police and the Florida Highway Patrol.
“We see too often these individuals who use these vehicles in a careless and unlawful manner, putting not only themselves in danger, but those around them,” said Miami-Dade Police Major Hector Llevat.
Police are trying to educate those who behave in what can only be described as idiotic behavior that has tried to be justified as making a statement for peace.
“Guns down, bikes up,” declared one cyclist after doing a wheelie last MLK Day. Not only is the reckless riding illegal – scores of bikers in previous years have gone the wrong way on surface streets and expressways – but four-wheel vehicles, ATVs, can’t be legally driven on a public road.
Police caution that the motorcycle madness is hugely dangerous. You’re 27 times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than a car crash, and that’s under normal conditions.
“The last thing we want as motorcycle officers is to see a fatality, to see someone hurt in the community, that’s the last thing we want,” said Miami-Dade Motorcycle Ofc. Marcos Delrosa.
Your odds of dying are dramatically increased if you’re not wearing a helmet. Most of those who joined the idiocy on MLK Days weren’t wearing helmets.
“Too often we see a tragedy where a life could be saved and they end up dying at the scene because they’re not wearing a helmet,” said Trooper Joe Sanchez of the Florida Highway Patrol.
One helmetless rider who hit a car in Fort Lauderdale on the holiday last year wasn’t killed but was left critically hurt with permanent injuries after being thrown 50 feet.
A problem for police is nabbing the nimble Ninja and other motorcycle targets. They arrested several bikers last year, but promise to cast a wider net Monday.
“All the agencies have gotten together to address that issue,” said the FHP’s Sanchez. “We are aware of the situation. Every year we have the opportunity to get better at it.”
Law enforcement says if you are out behaving recklessly on your bike Monday and they catch you, your vehicle will be seized, you’ll be subject to stiff fines, and experience much more pain than fun.