Brazen bikers risk their lives and endanger others - WRBL

Brazen bikers risk their lives and endanger others

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

They weave through traffic at blinding speeds, splitting lanes and splitting nerves: motorcycle riders who risk their lives and others because they can.

We're not talking about the majority of riders who share the road, obey the law, and ensure everyone's safety. We're talking about the brazen bikers; the ones who zoom past you in a screaming blur with a "so what" attitude. They know they can outrun you and the cops, but they can be caught.

Traffic cops describe these bikers as the two percent.

"They're the one traveling at over 100 miles per hour, the ones weaving in and out of traffic," said Master Deputy Steve Favors with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

They are the two percent we remember. We spoke with several Bay area drivers who share the road with motorcycles and they don’t like what they see. Branden Dendler, Kayrina Haber and Rosanna Vega think these bikers are hard to watch out for when they cut them off just to get ahead of people.

“One quick mistake and it could change the course of everyone’s live involved,” Rosanna Vega.

The more brazen bikers don’t slow down during rush hour traffic, and they taunt police to catch them if they can. Some are so proud of their daredevil ways that they post highlights on YouTube.

Aaron Abell has seen riders going 100 miles an hour with no protection.

“He's obviously going to die if he gets into an accident or anything like that,” Abell said.

The odds of that happening are good. Super sports motorcycle riders are four times more likely to die in a crash than other riders. Over the past three years more than 30,000 motorcycles have crashed on Florida roadways killing more than 1,400 riders and passengers.

Biker Scott Bivens has lost friends due to motorcycle accidents. He started riding at fifteen. At 43, he is not about to throttle back. So-called crotch rockets like his can reach 190 miles per hour. Bivens has pushed his motorcycle to 186 off public streets.

"People jump out of airplanes, people race cars... Some people ride bikes. It's where it’s at for me and I love it,” Bivens said.

Biker Steve Norton maxed out at 170. He admits to weaving in and out of traffic from time to time. He also confessed to having a nagging fear of crashing.

“One of these days it's going to happen. How bad it's going to be I don't know,” said Norton. “But yea, that scares me and that's also what gives me a little thrill I guess."

Steve and Scott do not consider themselves among the reckless two percent. They don't condone aggressive behavior in traffic because those who endanger themselves and others wrongly stereotype all riders.

“You get one guy that splits lanes going through traffic and all of a sudden we're all bad bikers,” Scott said. “We're not.”

However, bad bikers manage to get our full attention. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has video of a motorcyclist speeding on Bruce B. Downs. The motorcycle outran and outlasted a police helicopter. Many of the motorcycles are faster and more fuel efficient.

Hillsborough Master Deputy Steve Favors told us, he won’t chase these high speed riders, but that doesn’t mean officers won’t catch a few. Some actually pull over to flashing lights and sirens. Others are caught by undercover motorcycle cops who blend in with a group.

As it turns out, fed-up eyewitness drivers are making a difference. According to Master Deputy Favors, people are not tolerating it anymore.

“They're calling law enforcement. They’re also recording it. Everywhere you go now people are recording,” said Favors.

That recording is evidence capable of putting the brakes on the "crotch rocket crazies" who make up the two percent.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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