Watch CBS News

Pittsburgh Police Warn Of Severe Consequences For Roaming Packs Of Off-Road Vehicles

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Pittsburgh Police are sending out a warning to those packs of off-road motorcyclists roaring through city streets: cease and desist or face the consequences.

Maybe you've seen them. Packs of young men on dirt bikes and ATVs roaring down city and suburban streets, swerving in and out of traffic, popping wheelies and other stunts, posing a danger to themselves and others. Pittsburgh Police say they've seen enough.

"We're planning a crackdown on this stuff. If they keep it, we are going to work to get you and we will get you eventually," said Pittsburgh Police Commander Ed Trapp.

They're known as ride-outs and they've sprung up around the country, becoming a traffic hazard in major cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. With the onset of the nice weather, police say the packs here have grown in number since the early days of the pandemic when the streets were mostly empty.

"And while it was illegal then, at least it was marginally safer. Now, traffic has returned to the streets and it's gotten a lot more dangerous," said Trapp.

In recent months, a task force made of city, county and state police as well as some suburban departments have issued some citations but has mostly monitored the packs. But with the increased activity and danger to the public, Trapp says that about to change.

"We're not going to let you know when we're coming for you or how we're going to going to get you, but we are going to get you," said Trapp.

It's a warning shot over the bow — one police want the packs to hear. This isn't harmless joyriding, and Trapp wants them to know just how seriously police are viewing it.

"Hitting a car in a motorcycle, you're probably going to lose every time. Hitting a pedestrian, you might kill somebody and spend a long, long time in prison," he said.

And so, police say it's fair warning. They'd rather the activity stop without a crackdown, but if it doesn't, the consequences will be severe.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.