Florida policymakers have passed legislation to prevent and stop “stunt biking,” the trend of motorcyclists who perform dangerous and often reckless maneuvers with their motorcycles while out on public roads and even in traffic. Speed racers in Florida have become dangers experts say, weaving in and out of traffic, doing spins, and flying through quiet streets over the speed limit.
Authorities note that these self-proclaimed stun drivers often place videos of their pranks online. The worry for authorities is that this trend is not only dangerous for the motorcyclists, but also for the drivers on the road who may not be anticipating such antics. Many car accidents involving motorcycles in past years have involved personal injuries and even fatalities. In some cases, police were not even able to catch the perpetrator, since some of the newer motorcycles built for speed accelerate quickly and reach high speeds very fast.
By law, wheelies have always been illegal, since laws require that motorcycles have both wheels on the ground whenever the motorcycle is being driven. Most of the other dangerous “stunt biking” behavior, however, has not always been well defined. Under the new laws, anyone who engages in dangerous riding faces a $1000 for the first offence and $3000 for a third offence. “Stunt biking” can also lead to suspension of a motorcycle license under the new legislation.
Police authorities are worried that the new laws are not strict enough. Some allege that a $1000 or even $3000 penalty will not deter many stunt bikers, especially since many do not think they will get caught. Police also point out that most motorcycle riders found guilty of stunt biking do not have a license, so licence suspension is ineffective.
According to authorities, roughly 75% of all accidents involving motorcycles also involve another car, usually passenger vehicles. In many cases, the motorcycles are too quick, too small, and too erratic for cars to get out of the way. In many cases, accidents take place when stunt bikers lose control of the motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents are devastating for riders. Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are very common among stunt bikers, and the injuries are often made worse by the fact that these riders often refuse to wear helmets. Vehicle drivers involved in such accidents usually suffer emotional trauma as a result of the accident. Police note that since up to 60% of stunt bikers are unlicensed uninsured, it is difficult for victims of such accidents to be compensated for lost income, medical bills, or other expenses.