BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Police say their crackdown on illegal dirt bike riding is proving to be effective.
Last year, police set up a Task Force to help combat the problem. George Solis explains why some feel there may be another option on the table that can benefit both sides.
Police say as the summer season kicks in, this is when you would typically see packs of riders on the streets that hasn’t been the case, so far. Others say they still holding out hope for a potential dirt bike park.
Dirt bike riders are often seen performing dangerous and death-defying stunts right in the middle of traffic. Just last month, WJZ captured a small group of bikers illegally riding around busy Reisterstown Road.
Police have been actively working to crack down on the reckless activity, now they say they’re seeing some signs of success. Police have utilized helicopter Foxtrot to capture the dirt bike riders in the act.
Last year, City Police created a Task Force they say to date has made 45 arrests, confiscated more than 200 bikes, and recovered 8 handguns.
Baltimore City Councilman Leon Pinkett says while the Task Force has been effective, it will take the time to fully address the issue because dirt bike riding is an inherent part of the city’s culture.
“It’s not going away. I mean there are going to be adults that are riding there are still kids that are going to be emulating the young people that they see and they’re going to want to ride as well,” says Pinkett.
The most talked about solution rests on the notion of a park for the riders.
“I don’t think we should destroy the culture I think we should create an opportunity for it to be expressed in a safe way,” he says.
Some in the community agree while others can’t deny the fact that illegal riders can present a danger to others on the road.
“Make a spot for them to ride like they said they’ve been doing for years,” says Devon Grant, from Baltimore.
“It is unfortunate when they hit somebody car and keep it going.
A a spokesman for Mayor Catherine Pugh says ‘a park just can’t be a reality right now, based on the city’s financial future and realities.’ Some tell WJZ us they haven’t noticed any change in a number of riders on the street, while others argue a park wouldn’t stop the illegal riding
Police say they are confident that after this successful year, they’ll be even more successful next year.