Authorities continue to crack down on ATV, motorcycle ride outs

'Wheels Up, Guns Down' ride is MLK weekend tradition

By Tim Swift

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Authorities across South Florida continued to crack down on ATV riders taking part in the annual "Wheels Up, Guns Down" ride outs Saturday.

Hundreds of ATV and dirt bike riders take to South Florida roadways during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend each year despite warnings from local law enforcement agencies. It is illegal to ride ATVs and dirt bikes on major roadways, and many riders often perform dangerous stunts during the ride outs.

While most riders remain peaceful, others cause considerable danger on the roads, leading police to make moves to stop the rides.

At least one rider was arrested Saturday at a Valero gas station in the 3900 block of Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park. Riders were also spotted in the Westview area of Miami-Dade County near Miami-Dade College North Campus.

Riders were also spotted driving through Miami Gardens.

"There has been a small number of dirt bikes and ATVs riding around the city of Miami Gardens this afternoon, however no arrests have been made as of yet," said Officer Carlos Austin, a spokesman for the Miami Gardens Police Department. "Our officers are conducting proactive patrols throughout the city, to deter the riders from disrupting the normal flow of traffic."

Last year, Miami-Dade police reported eight felony arrests, nine misdemeanor and traffic arrests, four firearms seized, 18 violations and 72 ATVs and dirt bikes impounded.

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