South Florida

South Florida Police Plan Crackdown on ATV, Dirt Bike Riders on MLK Weekend

Police will rely on aircraft to control illegal riders during MLK Weekend

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Dirt bikers and those on ATVs ascending upon South Florida streets during the MLK holiday weekend has become an annual thorn in the side of drivers, the community, and law enforcement, but authorities are vowing to crack down on the annual practice.

Anyone on a dirt bike or ATV on the regular streets is doing so illegally, and police believe many are breaking the law to perform stunts just to make video post on social media.

"I would hate to see someone get hit by one of these machines that are moving at a high rate of speed because its going to result in some kind of serious injury or fatality," Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said.

The festivities began on Sunday when dozens of riders took to the streets in North Miami-Dade.

Many admitted they knew they were defying traffic laws.

"We're riding bikes, we're not doing nothing bad. We're not hurting nobody," One rider said. "We could have been doing all types of crimes, all types of stuff, but we're riding, keeping ourselves out of trouble."

On Thursday in Broward and Miami Dade, police sent a message to those planning to use the MLK Holiday to break traffic laws.

"We will enforce every single law that exist on the books as it relates to our traffic enforcement," Tony said.

Police plan to confiscate illegal bikes and ATVs, levy fines, and make arrests.

"We are asking the community that if you see any suspicious activity, if you see any of these lawless groups congregating, please if you see something, say something," said Angel Rodriguez with Miami-Dade Police. "Please call 911 specifically if they are doing any type of suspicious activity."

Officials said they won’t be chasing the bikes but will be watching them from air and will move officers to contain them.

"We are going to be out along with air support. There is no escaping our air support. These bikes may outrun our vehicles. We are not going to chase but we will find you," Florida Highway Patrol Major Robert Chandler said.

They also have advice if you are driving and are overrun by bikes who don't stop for red lights.

"The drivers themselves who are obeying the laws, if you see these things and encounter them, stop. Something as simple as stopping in the middle of the road, it's supportive, it's OK," Tony said.

Local police say the public can send them videos through their websites and report movements of these bikers through non-emergency lines too.

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