Charlotte police targeting off-road vehicles crowding busy city streets

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE (WJZY) — Police say it’s a dangerous show on wheels.

FOX 46 has exclusive video of ATVs and dirt bikes swarming city streets, doing stunts, and going down the wrong side of the road to pass a Gold Line streetcar.

CMPD tells Fox 46 they’re targeting this reckless behavior. Police urge you to call 911 if you see ATVs and dirt bikes crowding around you on the street.

CMPD says, for the most part, it’s not even legal for them to be on the streets, and it’s dangerous.

“There was at least 60 of them,” said Mia Jones, who works in the area near Johnson C. Smith University.

In the video taken near French Street and Beatties Ford Road, the ATVs and dirt bikes crowd around the Gold Line train. Dozens stream past.

“I think that’s pretty cool, for the ATVs and dirt bikes to come up like that,” said Dee Williams, a JCSU student.

But CMPD says the streets aren’t for show and this kind of driving is dangerous. At one point, some of the drivers are going down the wrong side of the road.

“People choosing to drive irresponsibly on the roads put all of us at risk and it’s completely inexcusable,” said Stephen Fischbach with CMPD.

With very few exceptions, police say ATVs and dirt bikes are not even allowed on city streets.

Fox 46 also got exclusive video from North Graham Street in Uptown from over the weekend. It also shows ATV and dirt bike riders in the middle of the street.

“I seen them coming down on Saturday, said Jones.

She says Saturday is not the first time she’s seen a swarm of ATVs and dirt bikes on Charlotte roads.

“For the driver that drives the Gold Line, I think that could have been something at the end of the day that put them in a panic because there’s so many of them,” said Jones.

The road narrows to one lane in each direction in that section of Beatties Ford Road, so there’s nowhere for drivers to legally pass the Gold Line streetcar.

“I’ve had that situation happen before and like I said, it gives you anxiety when you’re driving because there’s so many around, you don’t want to hit anybody it makes you want to press on the brake and just stop,” said Jones.

CMPD says this has been an ongoing problem for years. Police say it’s important that you call 911 right away when you see this. That way officers can come out and put a stop to it.

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