Authorities are getting ride-out ready ahead of the weekend before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Every year, ATV and dirt bike riders illegally hit the streets of South Florida for a “Wheels Up, Guns Down” ride, and law enforcement agencies in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are on high alert.
“We cannot stress the importance of highway and motorcycle and ATV vehicles to please not be driven on our roadways,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho said. “The goal is to prevent unnecessary delays, injuries and property damage associated with reckless driver behavior.”
In past years, videos of riders taunting outnumbered police officers have gone viral on social media.
“It’s useless to run from us because with the number of aircraft and resources we have in the sky, you’re not going to get away,” FHP Maj. Robert Chandler said Thursday during a news conference in Broward.
Miami-Dade police also held a news conference Thursday with the Florida Highway Patrol and said officers tow dozens of ATVs and dirt bikes each year.
“Getting a ticket or arrested and having your vehicle impounded is costly and no way to enjoy a holiday weekend,” Camacho said.
But typically, we still see wheelies being popped on busy roadways during the annual ride-out.
Florida law also requires ATV riders to wear over-the-ankle boots, eye protection and a safety helmet.
“We will be doing a high visibility patrol and we will be doing enforcement,” Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said.
Organizers say the ride will be safe and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Let’s ride nationwide this Monday as we ride as we further show our abilities to unite and ride for a purpose,” one organizer said.
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, however, said he wasn’t convinced by what organizers claimed was the ride’s purpose.
“When we execute our traffic infractions, we always find a gun out here, and so, there is some hypocrisy around these activities, not only in how they’re supposed to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, but in the name in which they’ve titled their own event,” he said.
Source:: News Headlines