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BSO, FHP, Police: Zero Tolerance Policy For Reckless "Wheels Up, Guns Down" Riders

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - With the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend right around the corner, South Florida law enforcement has a message for those planning to take part in a "Wheels Up, Guns Down" ride.

Just don't do it.

"We will outnumber the riders as we always do," said Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony on Wednesday.

The annual event started as a way to honor Dr. King. However, in recent years, it's become a dangerous display of stunts and racing on South Florida streets.

On Wednesday, the sheriff said they will not tolerate any ATV or dirt bike riders who ride in a reckless manner, block traffic, ride against it, pop wheelies, or ride on sidewalks. It's become an annual problem in South Florida.

"They do it with knowledge and intent that their activities are unsanctioned and illegal. They do repeatedly with a total disregard for public safety. And that's where we draw the line in the sand," said Tony.

The sheriff said plans are in place to shut down reckless riders when they are spotted.

"If you find yourself in traffic while these daredevils and reckless individuals are driving by, we want you to come to a halt, we want you to pull off to the side of the road, and let us do our job. You may not see us, you may not hear us, but we are there," said Tony. "We are monitoring, we are tracking, we are putting things into place strategically, putting things together to make sure that we can take these individuals into custody without exposing you to any greater harm.

Law enforcement helicopters and airplanes will be monitoring the roads from overhead. The Florida Highway Patrol plans to block some entry and exit points on the highways to prevent riders from having access.

FHP Major Robert Chandler said every trooper in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties will be working on Monday.

Law enforcement is hoping the Florida legislature will pass a Senate that makes it a crime to cause this kind of disruption on the road.

"To make it no longer just a traffic infraction. That gives law enforcement just a little bit more power, it also gives us the ability in the racing statute to impound vehicles to where they don't get them back," said Chandler.

"The biggest fear is that people could lose their lives doing this," he added.

The sheriff's office and the police are urging the public to say something if they see something suspicious.

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