Operation Rogue Riders: Crackdown on speeding motorcycles

July 13, 2012 (CHICAGO)

It's the first time state police are teaming up with local officers from Skokie and Lincolnwood to combat reckless motorcycle riding on the freeway, and they are asking for the public's help.

Frequent highway drivers see it all the time. And police are getting a lot of calls from drivers reporting motorcyclists speeding, racing, weaving in between the lanes of traffic and even riding on the shoulder.

State police say in the first six months of 2012, they have seen 13 fatalities and seven injuries in motorcycle-related crashes -- a huge increase over the same period last year.

"Their speeding and erratic movements are risky, reckless and too often result in tragedy," said Capt. Luis Gutierrez, Illinois State Police.

"It will target violators, lane splitting, racing on the expressways and riding illegally on the shoulders," said Lt. Jeff Grendzinski, Illinois State Police.

Drivers have seen the dangerous riders, too.

"They weave in between the lanes and they fit for the most part, but drifting cars, I think you see that every once in a while," said driver Leigh Hellrung.

Some say they will not hesitate to call riders in if they spot reckless behavior.

"I would, if it happened continuously, I would probably call in," said driver Sammy Laham. "It is concerning for the public."

State police and the local officials plan to follow up on calls. Rider who are caught could face up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,500.

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