Top police officials met with a convoy of motorcycle clubs on April 7 in Brooklyn to discuss road safety as the warmer months arrive.
Over ten different heads of the motorcycle clubs met with NYPD Transportation Bureau Chief Kim Royster and fellow officers on Thursday evening at the Steel Horses Club House, located at 740 East 98th St., to speak on a variety of topics in preparation for the summer and the potential accidents that occur during that time.
According to police officials, in 2021 there were 50 motorcycle fatalities and so far this year the city has seen four motorcycle rider deaths. Additionally, as of May 2021 there were approximately 367 injuries involving illegal bikes and ATVS. As a preemptive effort before the summer begins, the NYPD is working with motorcycle clubs all across the city to steer youth in a safer direction.
New Yorkers are often plagued by unsafe and reckless two-wheeled racers who storm through the city streets and are often unlicensed, lack registration, and insurance. Without proper instruction, lives are drastically cut short since young people lack the sufficient knowledge to operate these vehicles and neglect to wear appropriate protective gear. This not only leads to devastating accidents, many violent altercations are reported due to road rage from the inexperienced. It is with this in mind NYPD’s bikers and legitimate motorcycle clubs held a roundtable to discern how they can best serve each other and how to prevent youth from becoming just another statistic.
The discussion was geared toward deterring teens from both operating illegal bikes while also instructing them on how to safely drive motorcycles. Working with those young people may consider role models—motorcycle clubs—the NYPD believes this mentorship could not only potentially save lives, but also prevent individuals from getting in trouble with law enforcement. According to Chief Royster, those who are caught riding or storing illegal vehicles can receive a $1,000 fine before the bikes are seized and destroyed.
For the past two years, since the COVID-19 pandemic there were significantly less drivers, and during that time the number of illegal bikes and ATVs being driven across New York City vastly increased. Many of those who drive these dangerous vehicles have been known to ignore traffic signals, block traffic, drive down the sidewalk, and even race down the city streets while being unlicensed, unregistered, and not wearing protective gear.
“We want to start building the relationship between ridership and NYPD Community Affairs,” Chief Royster said.
Royster and fellow officers discussed the impact the motorcycle club will have on youth by serving as role models and instructing them on the official way to learn defensive driving while also assisting them in obtaining legal licenses.