FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Several large police departments in Broward, along with Sheriff Scott Israel, say their agencies will be out in force next Monday to keep the streets safe during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Over the last few years in South Florida, the holiday has become synonymous with the so-called “MLK rideout” in which thousand of motorcycle and ATV riders takes to the streets with stunts that endanger themselves and drivers.
The ridout is a hot topic among riders in Miami-Dade and Broward, and on social media where people are showing off their moves from Charlotte to Atlanta to Miami.
Police caution that the motorcycle and ATV 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.
Israel said he and his fellow law enforcement officers are well aware of the challenges Monday will bring and they’re as prepared as they can be.
“We are absolutely prepared to make Broward County as safe as possible,” said Israel. “Our goal is to make sure law enforcement stays safe. And our goal is to make sure all riders are in compliance with the law.”
He’s not alone as law enforcement across South Florida is preparing for the rideout, also known as “Wheels Up, Guns Down.”
“We don’t want to have to issue a citation. We don’t want to have to be put in a situation where somebody gets arrested and we don’t want to have to tow one of these vehicles,” said Miami-Dade police Major Hector Llevat.
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.
“If you’re planning on disrupting traffic or endangering the lives of your selves or anyone else you will be dealt with from a zero tolerance stand point,” said Israel.
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.