ATV’S ON PHILLY STREETS: TOO FAST, TOO FURIOUS, TOO DEAD

Cops: Death of boy, 14, not a hit-and-run

* Frankford Avenue and Butler Street

A 14-year-old boy riding a dirt bike died after being struck by a vehicle yesterday afternoon in Frankford, police said. The boy, Jermaine Alexander, crashed his bike into an oncoming minivan about 3:20 p.m., police said. A medic unit pronounced the boy dead at the scene, police said. Originally reported as a hit-and-run, it later was called an accident in which the driver remained on the scene. No charges were filed. LINK

Watch the TV report here:

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Teen-Death-Raises-Concerns-Over-Dirt-Bikes–142697195.html

I was taking my usual route to work last night when I was caught up in a neighborhood traffic jam. Since I usually drive the same way most days the cars all around me doing “U” turns and all other manner of illegal maneuvers caught me off guard. It was then I noticed the yellow crime scene tape strung across the street. I had come across this accident scene only a few blocks from my firehouse. I looked up the street and saw a cut in half, dirt bike motorcycle. It was a sure sign that summer has arrived in Philly early this year, and an equally bad sign that it is most likely going to be a long, hot one.

It has been reported that the 14-year-old “kid” who was driving this motorcycle was doing about 75 mph. Originally reported as a hit and run, the investigation has now concluded that he crashed of his own accord and the driver of the vehicle he hit stayed at the scene, most likely traumatized by the horrific impact.

Some years back one of Philly’s illustrious police commissioners decided that the police would no longer chase and apprehend those who illegally and recklessly operate dirt bikes and quads  on city streets. Since then the streets have been turned into the wild west, a regular Damnation Alley where pedestrians and legal motorists risk life and limb (not to mention insurance rates) at the hands of these motorized gangsters. The summer weather brings these urban zombies out of the woodwork – especially in the poorer areas of the city. (As if economic status is now an excuse to hold an entire neighborhood hostage to your selfish and anti-social lifestyle).  What’s more is theft of ATV’s is rampant and illegal activity tends to surround the usual suspects. Earlier in the week two teens were executed with a fully automatic AK-47 while joyriding on an ATV stolen from upstate Pa. LINK

By publicly announcing that you won’t chase and arrest those who terrorize the neighborhoods with these illegal motorcycles, you give them the green light to do as they please. The complaint that chasing them causes accidents and deaths is ridiculous; as we see even when they don’t get chased they wreck and kill and get killed. It’s a stupid policy that should immediately be revoked. The non-enforcement of quality of life laws just breeds more crime, violence and contempt for law enforcement in general.  Time to bring the joyriding to an end.

 

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One Response to ATV’S ON PHILLY STREETS: TOO FAST, TOO FURIOUS, TOO DEAD

  1. Bob G. says:

    Cap:

    WTF is it with some “people” (and I use THAT term loosely) that feel it’s OK to ride otherwise RURAL vehicles in an URBAN environment?

    We have an idiot near us (in Fort Wayne) that LOVES to do wheelies with his ATV…down a RESIDENTIAL street (got some good pics I sent along to the police)…

    ATVs are for anything OTHER than a city street, for God’s sake.
    Curiously, dirt bikes are called THAT for a reason…for DIRT!

    And the last time I checked, a CITY STREET did not fit the criteria (only the people ON those streets are “dirt”, I suppose, so maybe it’;s OK?)

    Then there are those “pocket bikes”…another topic for another post…soon.

    Good post.

    Roll safe (and traffijam-free) out there.

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