CHICAGO (CBS) — Motorcycle groups are wreaking havoc on Chicago streets and neighborhoods, nearly one year after CBS 2 first brought you the story.
Marissa Parra reports on what has and hasn’t changed.
Riding through red lights, onto sidewalks and bike lanes. To the swarms of stunt bikers, the rules of the road don’t apply. In video posted to Facebook, cars swerve out of the way for the motorcycles riding in the wrong direction.
One man was caught in the middle of the road, surrounded on both sides. And while the recent videos were posted from the South Loop within the last few weeks, it’s a problem that spans years and across at least five different wards in Chicago.
“Yeah, we’ve heard that for about a year now, or more than a year,” said resident Mike Shapow. “Nothing changes.”
But since that report, some things have changed.
For instance, Lake Shore Drive now has noise control monitors and cameras with license plate readers. But in many of the videos posted on Facebook by the bikers themselves, flaunting their stunts, you often see covered plates or no plates at all.
“It’s just a matter of time before somebody innocent gets hurt or one of them gets hurt,” said resident Mike Nelson.
In one Instagram video posted just last Sunday, one biker tries to show off for the camera and gets thrown face-first instead.
“No one is against motorcycles. Whether they’re a danger to themselves, that’s their choice. “But endangering other people, that’s the part residents are upset with,” Shapow said.
We’ve seen how police pursuits on wheels can turn deadly. CPD policy is that officers behind the wheel have to do a “balance test” that weighs public safety if they do or do not pursue any motor vehicle. Disregarding traffic signs is simply not enough to warrant a chase.
Easy solutions aren’t easy to come by, especially when police chases come at a high risk for everyone on the street. Instead, police are trying to go after the bikes while they’re not in motion.
In trying to find different means of punishment, two weeks ago, Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) said CPD impounded six motorcycles during one of their rallies.
There’s another public hearing coming up in September that will involve the aldermen, Chicago police and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
CBS 2 will post the link with details when they are confirmed.
If you see unsafe motorcycle riding, you should call 911 or your alderman.