Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

When vehicle drivers encounter a motorcycle stunting swarm

Although they are a subset of all motorcyclists, an increasing number of riders are buying dirt bikes to perform stunts, also called stunting. Speed alone no longer impresses these riders. A new era in riding is here, thanks to advances in technology.

Like autos, bikes today are lighter in weight but deliver more power. Stunt riders can use regular motorcycles, but the kicked-up ratio of weight to power makes sport or dirt bikes ideal for stunting. 

Stunting generates controversy

Stunting does not impress everyone. Large groups of stunters can quickly form on roads and highways across the country. They show little regard for personal or public safety. Stunt riding is illegal on public roads, yet warnings or fines do not usually deter avid stunters. According to the Washington Post, law enforcement unobtrusively observes stunt swarm members to identify them. Police officers are better able to protect vehicle drivers from confrontations if officers do not directly provoke bikers.  

Riders can incur stiff penalties. If they cause a major accident, the entire group could face contributory negligence or felony charges. Unfortunately, stunters can suddenly appear, then disappear like a paycheck, thanks to social media tip-offs. 

Stunting can cause road hazards

Sportbike modifications are prevalent. Increasingly dangerous stunts require special gear and extreme precision. Stunters challenge each other and use their bike mods to achieve razor-edged performance. Enthusiasts increase the danger levels of new tricks to produce deeper thrills and earn bragging rights.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported a vehicle attack by stunters over an unknown incident involving a white Toyota on Highway 101. The driver stopped and left his vehicle. The motorcycle group threw the man down, and a couple of bikers took turns punching him. The man sustained injuries, including a badly broken leg requiring surgery. The bikers left before California Highway Patrol officers arrived.

Stunting swarms and vehicle safety tactics

If stunt riders threaten motorists, the best action is to pull off the highway at the nearest safe exit and call 911. The driver or passenger should note details such as the swarm's speed and direction of travel, any insignias on helmets, clothes or bikes, and if possible, observe unique types of helmet or clothing styles. A driver should not attempt to film bikers while driving. If a passenger can use a cellphone to record stunters without drawing personal attention, the evidence may prove helpful to police. Take notes or use phones with caution, and avoid provoking a confrontation. Do not stare or look at stunters.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tripping/wp/2017/03/11/pack-of-stunting-motorcycle-riders-attacks-california-motorist-heres-what-to-do-if-you-find-yourself-in-a-swarm/?utm_term=.7d1e44d78885 

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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