MIAMI (CBSMiami) — At the start of the new year, Miami-Dade Couty Law Enforcement is trying to reinforce an old message.
Police are reminding drivers of safety when operating motorcycles, wearing the proper protection and that all-terrain vehicle are not allowed on public paved roads.
“We had seven fatalities involving all-terrain vehicles. That’s seven fatalities too many,” said Detective Jeffrey Childers.
Police said there were also more than 1,100 crashes involving motorcycles, ATV’s and other off-road vehicles.
Officers were out in full force Monday ahead of next week’s holiday where they’ve seen a dangerous and deadly tradition.
‘Wheels Up, Guns Down’ on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has year after year seen motorcycles, ATV’s and dirt bikes speeding through the streets of South Florida, weaving in and out of traffic and popping wheelies.
Many of the vehicles are not street legal.
“The hardest part of our job is knocking on somebody’s door and explaining to them that they just lost their loved one,” said Childers.
It’s something they’ve had to do a lot.
A dirt bike collided with a car at NW 6th Avenue and 54th Street. The driver was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center where he died.
On the Palmetto Expressway (SR-826) and 27th Avenue, a biker lay on the pavement gravely injured after he was hit by a pickup and thrown through the air.
A 20-year-old riding illegally on an ATV was killed after losing control on the Palmetto Expressway and just yesterday, 2018, is not off to a great start.
“We handled a life-threatening injury involving a motorcycle where this person may not make it,” said Childers.
Police are telling riders to expect a crackdown and zero-tolerance for anyone freewheeling on Miami-Dade County roads.