Law Enforcement Ramps Up For Street Bike Event
Updated September 3 with arrest data.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police say 47 bikers were arrested over the four-day ride, most for reckless driving and other traffic charges. Fifty-eight motorcycles were towed. The busiest day was August 29, when 23 bikers were arrested and 24 motorcycles towed. There were no arrests or bikes towed on August 31.
Our original story:
More than 3,000 street bikes are expected to descend on the St. Louis region this weekend as part of the annual Streetfighterz Ride of the Century.
The event typically brings out throngs of street bikers onto the regional interstates and highways, some of whom weave in and out of traffic and perform dangerous stunts.
It has attracted a lot of law enforcement attention in the past, and this year is no exception.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson says the riders can expect zero tolerance for reckless driving.
"If you’re obeying the law, you’re not going to have any issues," Johnson said during a press conference Wednesday. "But if your bike is on one wheel, if you’re going the wrong way on the interstate, you’re not a law-abiding citizen."
The Highway Patrol plans to set up safety checkpoints, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and St. Louis County Police Department both plan to put more officers on the streets.
Last year law enforcement made more than 30 arrests during the event.
A few street bikers showed up at the press conference. Jason Cadell of Josephville defended the Ride, although he says he has never taken part.
"One of my motorcycles happens to be a sports bike, and I feel like I’m targeted at times because of the type of motorcycle," Cadell said. "When I see these types of press releases that vilify us, I don’t appreciate it."
Cadell says he plans to take part in the Ride for the first time. While he said he does not condone doing illegal stunts, he said most of the bikers have more control than they are given credit for.
Follow Maria Altman on Twitter: @radioaltman