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Crotch Rockets Are 'Potential Death Machines'
June 1, 2007 - 8:08am

FORESTVILLE, Md. - Saying that so-called bullet bikes or crotch rockets are "wreaking a tremendous amount of havoc on our roadways," one Maryland lawmaker says the state should consider banning the motorcycles from street use.

A crash on the Capital Beltway Wednesday night killed two people and left 15 others injured. Police say that the accident happened as they were trying to stop one of these speeding motorcycles.

"They are potential death machines in the wrong hands," says Delegate Bill Bronrott of Montgomery County. "I think we should look at the possibility of saying, 'Hey, these are only intended for recreational use and should be used on race courses rather than on public highways."

Bronrott says Maryland State Police are contacting jurisdictions around the country to see how they handle the motorcycles. He says Maryland needs to investigate whether higher penalties would reduce problems associated with the motorcycles and/or whether laws need to be changed.

"It is definitely worth looking into whether or not we should totally ban these from our public roads or not," Bronrott says.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the seven-car, chain-reaction crash that closed the Beltway Wednesday night.

It started at about 7 p.m. when a Prince George's County police officer spotted a speeding motorcycle and positioned himself to stop it on the inner loop, police said. The motorcycle rider swerved in front of a civilian car and sped away, causing the officer's car to hit the civilian's.

That car rolled down an embankment onto the outer loop, where five other cars crashed into each other.

Two people in the car that went over the embankment died. Prince George's County Police have identified them as Kevin McCarter, 40, of Ft. Washington, Md. and Sidney Clanton Jr., age unknown, of Buffalo, N.Y.

Two of the injured were police officers. One was flown to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The other was also hospitalized, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Law enforcement sources tell WTOP the officers involved in the accident had been alerted to a felony in progress, and were given a lookout for the cycle.

Officers are looking for the motorcycle and rider believed to be responsible.

Police say they were chasing a black, high-speed, nimble racing motorcycle.

A video camera in the police cruiser did capture the chase, but police have not provided a more detailed description of the bike, or any license plate information.

The accident and rescue effort caused the highway to be closed in both directions, backing up traffic for miles.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 301-772-4710 or 301-731-4422.
what BS. this is obviously a scam to cover up the fact that the cop was a moron and ended up killing two people. he knows his crown vic isnt going to catch a sportbike. especially in traffic. hang back and call in the air support...
 

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dragknee said:
The motorcycle rider swerved in front of a civilian car and sped away, causing the officer's car to hit the civilian's.
he knows his crown vic isnt going to catch a sportbike. especially in traffic. hang back and call in the air support...
Screw that. The moron just couldn't drive. I fail to see how a motorcycle being nimble, and speeding away can "cause the officer's car to hit the civlians". Yeah.. bad boy for running.. but hardly his fault for the huge accident. I place all blame on the cop (just going off the details of the story listed above).

Had a similar incident in Cincinnati a couple years ago.. but it was a TransAm (?) speeding.. cop turned around in the median without slowing down (or apparently looking) and ended up putting his cruiser underneath a semi. They were trying to charge the speeder with manslaughter for the cops stupidity (never caught the guy, and the cop lived).
 

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Other details indicate that the cop might not have even been chasing a bike... If he was, he was definitely breaking no high-speed pursuit rules...

I wrote Rep Bronrott a letter shortly after his call for a ban came to light:

Email address is here:

http://www.bronrott.com/contact/index.html

Other stories:

http://wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=1156402

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/01/AR2007060102333.html?nav=hcmodule

Delegate Bill Bronrott,

I am extremely disturbed by a comment that has been attributed to you:

"They [high power motorcycles] are potential death machines in the
wrong hands," says Bronrott. "And I think we should look at the
possibility of saying these should be used on race courses rather than
public highways."

This state (or country) doesn't need reactionary legislation every
time one bad incident happens. For every incident involving a
reckless motorcyclist, you can easily look around and see hundreds of
motorcyclists riding safely and obeying traffic laws. In the hands of
a careless driver/rider, a motorcycle is no more dangerous than a
regular car. In addition, it can easily be argued that a car would be
more dangerous in a high speed collision. I regularly see economy
sedans weaving in and out of traffic on the beltway narrowly avoiding
accidents the whole way - why not call for a ban of Camrys on public
roads as well?

There's nothing in the stories of this incident that I've seen that
describe the motorcycle (other than to call it a "crotch rocket").
There are plenty of bikes that meet that description that are on par
in terms of performance with a mid-range car. Are you proposing to
ban all motorcycles?

Reactionary legislation isn't going to make us any safer - and will
serve only to whittle away even more of the freedoms that make this
country what it is.

Sincerely,

<me>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
at least after the lawsuit thats sure to come, those guy's kids and grandkids will be financially taken care of for the rest of their lives.
 

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Why is the blame always falling on the motorcyclist ?! In Québec, they are looking at charging up to 2000$ per season just to get the license plate on the sport bikes... It already cost that amount just to be insured ! what a scam !

They're defending themselves by saying that motorcycles are dangerous yet I don't see any laws making riding in full gear mandatory like the seatbelts. And I'm the only rider in full gear around... Stupid peoples have all the power. :mad:

There are many things they should ban before the motorcycles IMO...

Good writeup DK :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They say that sportbikes are dangerous weapons in the hands of some... ::) that could be said about ANYTHING... cars, hatchets, sporks... should we outlaw those too?
 

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I once knew a guy (no friend of mine) that titled a '94 Dodge Ram as a '62 Studebaker truck so he could pay antique insurance and reduced registration fees.
All he did was put on a Studebaker tail gate. When we called foul to the DMV, they said the truck was titled as a "kit car" and could technically be insured and registered as an antique. I have no idea how the guy did this, but I'm assuming it wasn't kosher (like VIN switching or saying he pieced together the truck or something [side note, I know someone who did a Viper like that... long story]).
If any sort of fascist legislation came our way, apparently there are loop holes (i.e. titling a CBR1000R as an 1986 Honda Rebel).
 

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Darn !

I have to call the equivalent of the DMV and ask is I can pass my 'lightened' EX500 as a kit bike or custom bike.. ;D

I'm sure they'd want to inspect it though :(
 

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It almost seems as though sport bikes are on par with handguns. You have one group saying how dangerous they are, how easy it is for a criminal to get their hands on one, etc etc. Then you have the other group saying how taking away guns would violate their rights. Both sides are kind of right, and neither side can understand the other's perspective.

I think it would be very difficult for sport bikes to become illegal on the street. I just wish there were more responsible riders. I also wish that full gear was the "cool" thing to do.

What we ought to do is get some politicians on motorcycles. Once they catch the bug, then there's no chance of outlawing bikes.
 

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Now for the flip side.

How many times have you seen new riders on sport bikes blasting through town, swerving in and out of traffic. These are the lads that give sport bike riders a bad name. I was in a organized ride this weekend " Redwater(Alberta) Ride For Hunger". We had over 400 riders mixed with mainly the cruiser style/custom/Goldwings and the hand full of sport riders. Who were the ones not staying in formation ? Three of the sport bike riders that just needed to dart in and out and try to get to the front of the ride. One just had to keep sweeping back and forth showing off. It's up to us to ride responsibly. The Track is the place to race not on the streets. Sure when you are on the open highway were the are some nice bends in the road you are bound to " twist the wrist" but safety first. My poll would be to crank up the fines to the riders that need a good wake up call. I have been riding motorcycle since 1990 and think it's time to crack down on the riders that are causing our insurance to climb through the roof.

-- Just my opinion ---
 

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i agree. step up the penalties for such offenses. if it gets bad enough, i say take the license for life. i feel the same way for repeat drunk drivers. if they haven't learned the first 7 times, chances are #8 aint too far away... no bike, no problem. now they get to see all the responsible riders on the freeways and roads, wishing they hadn't run from the police, or wheelie for the 9th time on public roads.

if you're not willing to change, i see little reason to allow such a person on the road.
 

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redline said:
Now for the flip side.

How many times have you seen new riders on sport bikes blasting through town, swerving in and out of traffic. These are the lads that give sport bike riders a bad name. I was in a organized ride this weekend " Redwater(Alberta) Ride For Hunger". We had over 400 riders mixed with mainly the cruiser style/custom/Goldwings and the hand full of sport riders. Who were the ones not staying in formation ? Three of the sport bike riders that just needed to dart in and out and try to get to the front of the ride. One just had to keep sweeping back and forth showing off. It's up to us to ride responsibly. The Track is the place to race not on the streets. Sure when you are on the open highway were the are some nice bends in the road you are bound to " twist the wrist" but safety first. My poll would be to crank up the fines to the riders that need a good wake up call. I have been riding motorcycle since 1990 and think it's time to crack down on the riders that are causing our insurance to climb through the roof.


Stepped licensing system like England (Europe)? But that'd never fly here because it encroaches on people's freedom to kill themselves (and it also makes far too much sense for America).
 
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Sportbikes will never be outlawed, sorry Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda all have way to much money and way to much power. It would be like outlawing a ford in detroit. So stop worrying about what other riders do, or wear. If there riding near you and screwing around jack them up if not go on your merry way.

BTW, if you jack up the fines more are going to run...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Running is retarded... is it worth felony fleeing and resisting arrest among other charges, and possible death to get out of 130 dollar ticket?
 

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spikezx5r said:
Sportbikes will never be outlawed, sorry Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda all have way to much money and way to much power. It would be like outlawing a ford in detroit. So stop worrying about what other riders do, or wear. If there riding near you and screwing around jack them up if not go on your merry way.
They almost killed the sport bikes market over here in the 80's.

They were not outlawed, but it would cost 5x the amount to license a 'sport' bike than a cruiser... The Big 4 couldn't care less...
 

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Seems like it's time to outlaw police cars. They can be awful dangerous in the wrong hands...
 

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I feel that upping the price on offenses is even worse. It's just going to make more people run. Also charging more money for bikes is the wrong thing to do. All these do is piss off the legal and safe riders. It's easy to ride a motorcycle without a license and insurance. I know quite a few people who do it. They also run anytime a cop tries to stop them so they don't get in trouble. What every state should do is inact a no chase law. Cop's should not be allowed to chase a fleeing motorcycle. Some states already have these types of laws. Cop's still do it because they want to drive fast just like everyone else.

Screwing over those who ride legally and responsibly is not the way to go. All it is going to do is cause more people to ride illegaly and therefore make more people run. In turn it puts more people at risk. Anyone with half a brain could see this chain of events. People will do what they want regardless of the legality of it. We should all notice that. Law's will only stop the responsible. Every so called squid out there will stop registering and insuring there bike if something like this happened. They would say hey, I'll just be cooler by doing it illegaly.

Also why knock the less fortunite. Let's screw those folk who can barely afford the bike they have now. Let's make it so they can't afford to ride. That will solve problems. The people of this country need to stand up for common sense. A baseball bat in the hands of the wrong person is a deadly weapon. Wow I get worked up over this ****. So anyways. It's dumb. A cop chasing a motorcycle is wrong. A motorcycle could not cause that cop to run into another car. If the cop didn't turn into or rear end the car, then he wouldn't have hit the car. He is the one who caused the accident, not the motorcycle.
 

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Politicians always have to look like they are doing something useful. Trouble is they are so disconnected from reality that they don't know what is useful. So they jump on whatever news or pop-culture bandwagon happens to be drifting by. This will pass.

If they are serious about this the ACLU will convince the Harley guys to go camp out in Annapolis for a week and then it will be over once and for all.

Anyone remember when the farmers drove their tractors to DC?
 
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