While watching the news the other night I witnessed the latest demonstration of, and I’m not sure exactly what to call it, stupidity comes to mind along with lunacy, ignorance, entitlement, lawlessness and did I mention stupidity? Motorcycle gangs with 60-70 riders taking over the public highways and downtown streets in major cities all riding ‘crotch rockets.’ They just ‘go where they want, do what they want, when they want and threaten or harass whomever they want including families and innocent people going to work or coming home–folks just minding their business and looking forward to the end of their working day. Out of nowhere it seems these morons appear and intimidate anyone who happens to have the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For those who haven’t witnessed this I have included a video that is available on U-tube. Just click the following link.
This isn’t just a group of young punks out for a ride because they are bored. These are organized gangs of men with female passengers in some cases who get off on causing havoc, who threaten, disregard any sense of moral conduct with no seeming conscience, ignore the police, pay no attention to the rules of the road, exhibit no sense of responsibility and who endanger not only their own lives but the lives of innocent people with families in many cases.
These are not your traditional motorcycle gangs like the Hell’s Angels or the Outlaws. The Outlaws and the Hell’s Angels have their own code they live by and for the most part tend to keep to themselves content to run their ‘businesses’ under the radar. However this present group of anarchists go out to specifically do damage and to threaten public safety. They tend to range in age from 16 to 30+. The police seem to be caught in a quandary.They are reluctant to get involved in highway chases and yet they have to do something to curtail the lawlessness and the imminent threat to the safety and the freedoms of the public at large. What would you do if you could do anything? Click the link:
Although this is happening in the U.S. for the most part, there is evidence that suggests it is beginning to happen in Canada as well. There was an incident on one of the 400 series highways outside of Toronto last week so we are not immune.
This problem isn’t going away anytime soon and we can’t throw up our hands and say it’s someone else’s problem. This is similar to having to deal with an animal that has tasted blood-it never forgets and it is very likely to want to taste it again. A bit rough I’ll grant you but I believe very true. Is it any wonder that innocent people are beginning to panic because of what the police are either forbidden to do, unable to do or unwilling to do. It’s a matter of time before folks will start to ‘protect themselves first and then ask questions or deal with the consequences after’. We have a chance to stop this but the question is will we.
Being a Social Service Worker my inclination is to try to figure out what the real issues are and deal with the root cause/source. I’m not sure that this will be the approach we’ll be able to take just because of the very gang mentality and ruthlessness that they exhibit. I wonder what will come next? Might it be causing accidents to watch the outcomes? How many innocent men, women and children need to be injured or murdered before something or someone changes the dynamics.
As a community we need to be consistent and very clear about what we are prepared to expect or demand from our judicial system as well as other citizens.
Will the powers that have the where with all to change things read the following and consider acting on them?
1. First time offenders who are caught and arrested and charged lose their licence to operate a motorcycle of any kind for the rest of their adult days. That means life time bans and their motorcycles are confiscated and destroyed by crushing them into little cubes at the wrecking yards. Along with this there needs to be a term of community service work.
2. If caught and charged again (with no licence now), provided there is no bodily injury or harm connected to the charges, then a fine would be levied (not a slap on the wrist type either) along with restrictive probation. The proceeds from the fines collected go directly to helping the homeless, programs for the vets that desperately need them and to food banks. The restrictive probation could include things like not being a passenger on a bike and not operating a bike of any kind regardless of its ownership. If an innocent citizen is harmed or injured in any way then the perp would be looking at incarceration.
3. If someone dies in an accident that is deemed to be the sole responsibility of the one charged then a charge of 2nd degree murder or 2nd degree manslaughter, depending on the circumstances, should be handed out.
Citizens should have more rights, in these cases, then those who don’t care about citizens rights. This is a time when the citizens need to feel as though their rights are considered more than or at least equal to the rights of those who chose to limit them. If these riders want to satisfy their need for speed and showcase their ‘skills’ then go to the track-get involved with cross country racing. If they want to kill themselves I don’ really care-that’s their choice. However, we need to discourage this behaviour from showing up on our highways.
I also think that those who engage in street racing should be charged and tried under the same laws with the same penalties. Perhaps it really is time to consider taking away their toys before someone gets seriously hurt or killed. I really don’t care if it is the idiot who is in charge of the machine but no one else should suffer because of someone else’s stupidity or narcissism.
Anyways, that’s how I see it. All the best, Jim