FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — While many people will enjoy the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, law enforcement in South Florida won’t have the day off.
They will be out in force and patrolling the roads as they expect hundreds to take part in the ‘Wheels Up, Guns Down’ rides. They have a strong warning for anyone considering hitting the road and driving recklessly.
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“We will outnumber the runners like we always do,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
The annual event began as a way to honor Dr. King. However, in recent years it has become a dangerous display of stunts and races on the streets of South Florida.
The sheriff said he will not tolerate any ATV or dirt bike riders who ride recklessly, block traffic, ride against the current, run over wheels or ride on sidewalks. It has become an annual problem in South Florida.
“They do this with the knowledge and intent that their activities are unauthorized and illegal. They do this repeatedly with total disregard for public safety. And that’s where we draw the line in the sand,” Tony said.
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The sheriff said plans are in place to arrest reckless runners when they are spotted.
“If you get stuck in traffic while these daredevils and daredevils drive by, we want you to pull over, we want you to pull over to the side of the road and let us do our job. You can’t see us. -maybe not, you may not hear us, but we’re here, “said Tony. “We monitor, we follow, we put things in place strategically, we put things together to make sure we can take these people into custody without exposing yourself to greater harm.
Law enforcement helicopters and planes will monitor the roads from the sky. The Florida Highway Patrol plans to block certain entry and exit points on freeways to prevent users from gaining access.
FHP Maj. Robert Chandler said all soldiers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will work Monday.
Law enforcement hopes the Florida Legislature will pass a Senate that will make it a crime to cause such disruptions on the road.
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The sheriff’s office and police are urging the public to say something if they see anything suspicious.