FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – While many people will be enjoying the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, law enforcement in South Florida won’t be having the day off.
They will be out in force and patrolling the roads as they expect hundreds of people to take part in “Wheels Up, Guns Down” rides. They have a strong warning for anyone considering hitting the road and driving recklessly.READ MORE: 'Toughest Job Of My Life': Potential Jurors Questioned In Second Phase Of Jury Selection Process For Parkland School Shooter Nikolas Cruz Penalty Trial
“We will outnumber the riders as we always do,” said Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.
The annual event started as a way to honor Dr. King. However, in recent years, it’s become a dangerous display of stunts and racing on South Florida streets.
The sheriff said they will not tolerate any ATV or dirt bike riders who ride in a reckless manner, block traffic, ride against it, pop wheelies, or ride on sidewalks. It’s become an annual problem in South Florida.
“They do it with knowledge and intent that their activities are unsanctioned and illegal. They do repeatedly with a total disregard for public safety. And that’s where we draw the line in the sand,” said Tony.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Mostly Sunny Morning, Spotty Afternoon Storms In The Forecast
The sheriff said plans are in place to shut down reckless riders when they are spotted.
“If you find yourself in traffic while these daredevils and reckless individuals are driving by, we want you to come to a halt, we want you to pull off to the side of the road, and let us do our job. You may not see us, you may not hear us, but we are there,” said Tony. “We are monitoring, we are tracking, we are putting things into place strategically, putting things together to make sure that we can take these individuals into custody without exposing you to any greater harm.
Law enforcement helicopters and airplanes will be monitoring the roads from overhead. The Florida Highway Patrol plans to block some entry and exit points on the highways to prevent riders from having access.
FHP Major Robert Chandler said every trooper in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties will be working on Monday.
Law enforcement is hoping the Florida legislature will pass a Senate that makes it a crime to cause this kind of disruption on the road.MORE NEWS: Man's Remains Found In Shallow Grave Behind Miami Gardens Home
The sheriff’s office and the police are urging the public to say something if they see something suspicious.