Whatever one’s take on motorcyclists in general, it’s important to remember that most riders are responsible people just like most of the driving public. The trouble is that many in the motorcycling community suffer from public misperceptions and a reputation born of the movies and TV. That said, there is always an element within some groups of people that can give the majority a bad name. For bikers, this can be those individuals who actively intimidate other motorists with their machines for whatever reason.
Regardless of what kind of bike any rider uses, be it a Harley-Davidson cruiser or chopper, a Ducatti or Honda sport bike or so-called crotch-rocket, or even one of the newer three-wheeled touring-style bikes, the average motorcyclist is not a danger to the public, though many will argue that he or she may certainly be taking risks for themselves that other, four-wheel motorists would never accept, much less take part in — all things being equal, a car accident or commercial truck crash is less likely to kill the driver, though the same thing cannot necessarily be said for bikers, at least based on motorcycle rider mortality rates.
Of course, getting back to the dangers posed to Maryland’s commuter public, we are all too aware of the trouble caused by groups of individuals within cities and towns who operate all-terrain vehicles and other unlicensed motorcycles in a reckless and negligent manner, causing traffic accidents and other incidents. These riders, many of whom according to police state are renegade bike riders who are causing havoc within our metropolitan areas, are acting in more of a criminal way than any normal rider would be expected to handle an off-road cycle or ATV.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we have seen the consequences of senseless and sometimes life-threatening traffic accidents in which drivers and passengers of cars, trucks and motorcycles are hurt or killed due to a sometimes singular negligent act of just one person. It is these kinds of roadway collisions that time and again remind us of the fragility of life and the ease with which innocent lives can be shattered by a thoughtless and occasionally malevolent individual.
Case in point is the continued threat in the Baltimore area posed by bands of these renegade riders. According to Baltimore police, these illegal riders are racing on streets and sidewalks without much care for their own safety, much less that of the general public. Earilier this fall, police seized more than a dozen dirt bikes and ATVs from a storage facility, hoping to put somewhat of a dent in the activities of the outlaw riders.
Based on news reports, the Police are not able to easily chase the perpetrators due to the usually inevitable deadly consequences to the rider or some innocent bystander or motorist. Still, it hasn’t hampered the city’s ability to track down and confiscate what they believe to be stolen or otherwise illegal ATVs and dirt bikes around the city. According to news articles, Baltimore police have adopted a strategy of watching and waiting to see where and when the illegal bike riders are out and about. Then, using surveillance cameras and the Baltimore PD’s helicopters, officers can more easily track the riders back to their homes and other hiding places for later action.
Police are able, according to reports, to track the scofflaws without their noticing. This technique has allowed the police to crack down little by little on these bands of illegal riders and to find and impound their cycles. At the time of the news article we caught, the police had said that no arrests had been made following that 15-bike seizure, however an investigation was ongoing, so it is possible that the authorities were able to make additional arrests related to the cache of motorcycles and ATVs they found in a self-storage center on Druid Park Dr. in Baltimore City.
We can only hope that eventually the tide will turn in the City’s favor and motorists, pedestrians and other citizens will be safer with these individuals prevented from causing unnecessary and dangerous mayhem on our city streets. Whether it’s aggressive driving or individual stunt riding, when negligence and recklessness are the order of the day, nobody is safe on the streets. Here’s to seeing a safer city in the coming year.
Baltimore Police Seize 15 Illegal Dirt Bikes And ATVs From Self-Storage Facility, CBSLocal.com, August 15, 2012