Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They’re illegal and can be deadly. Dirt bikes are out again on Baltimore streets.
Mike Hellgren has more on the risks and the law.
It’s a dangerous Baltimore tradition: packs of dirt bikes on the streets with no regard for traffic laws. Recent warmer weather has riders out in force. In one YouTube clip, a bike narrowly missed hitting a truck.
“Yeah, it is dangerous because I saw a couple people get killed on dirt bikes,” said one bystander.
Even owning a dirt bike that hasn’t been disabled is illegal in Baltimore.
“We have packs of dirt bike operators that are literally terrorizing neighborhoods. They are running across the city,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Another video posted on YouTube claims to show city cops chasing dirt bikes but police say their policy is not to chase but stay back, and to watch from fixed cameras and their chopper.
“Leading these vehicles on high-speed chases with police cars doesn’t work,” Guglielmi said.
In the Mondawmin area of North Baltimore, people see them all the time. WJZ asked them what they think should be done.
“It all depends on where they’re riding them at. I think they need a place for them to really ride them,” said one.
“A place just strictly for them, as opposed to having them all out on the streets,” said another.
By law, gas stations aren’t supposed to sell fuel for dirt bikes and police can seize bikes that aren’t locked up, but none of that has stopped riders who’ve made the streets theirs despite the risks, knowing it’s hard for cops to track them down.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a recipe for disaster,” Guglielmi said.
Dirt bikes have been illegal on city streets since 2000.