Hearne: Bad Biker Behavior in Overland Park

Cat - Biker CatA funny thing happened Sunday as I waited to turn left onto 119th Street from Antioch…

A motorcade of maybe 100 bikers – proceeding west two by two and widely spaced – rambled slowly through the intersection as one of the biker dudes positioned himself so as to halt other traffic from entering the intersection from the north and south.

And when the light turned green for those cars to proceed, confused motorists bumbled awkwardly into the intersection only to be halted by the bikers as their procession glided on, ignoring the red light and continuing merrily westward.

WTF?

Is that legal, I wondered?

In the wake of the recent biker beat down of an Asian man in New York – as his young wife and infant child looked on – it got me to thinking. What might have happened to one the motorists who found themselves awkwardly mired in the intersection at the mercy of the biker dudes?

My call was the first Overland Park police officer Michelle Koos was the first she’d heard of it.

“There’s a couple things that would be legal,” Koos mused. “If it was a funeral procession, and police officers are not the only ones who can stop traffic for a funeral procession. There are companies that can do that. But usually they have some sort of look to them that gives a more official appearance. But if it’s just somebody blocking the intersection so their buddies can go through, that’s not legal.”

The other legal option was for a scheduled ride such as Bikers for Babies.

“Like if they’re on a legitimate scheduled event, which is normally registered with wherever they’re starting and ending,” Koos added. “And it’s a common courtesy that they notify us, even if no police assistance is required.”

imagesAfter checking further, Koos was able to pin the tale on the biker parade donkey.

“We’ve actually determined where they were coming from,” she told me. “And that will give us a chance to have a few choice words with them.”

Translation: it was neither a funeral nor registered ride, but rather a Sunday afternoon  yahoo exodus from Rosana Square at 119th and Metcalf, home of the popular suburban biker bar Fuel.

“It sounds like dispatch fielded a few calls the week before too,” Koos says. “So it sounds like there’s been two incidents with them.”

First the good news: “They seem to be trying to operate safely,” Koos says.

Now the bad: “It looks like they’re under the assumption of what they can do, but they’re opening themselves up to a lot of potential liability,” Koos says. “To continue doing what they’re doing now, they’re breaking traffic laws and could face traffic tickets for a number of things, one of which is running red lights.”

fuellogoNot to mention the potential for serious traffic accidents and/or incidents

For example, with the motorists who found themselves awkwardly stranded and biker blocked in the intersection into which they had proceeded into when the lights turned green indicating it was their turn to go.

Or that last biker parade dude who glided foolishly into and through the intersection. 

“That last guy was really taking his life into his hands,” Koos says. “Because the other motorcyclists had already left and he was way back there. And he still went through the intersection after the cars had started to go north and south. I’m serious, he never should have entered the intersection because it was dangerous. That guy I would have talked to.”

Stay tuned…

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9 Responses to Hearne: Bad Biker Behavior in Overland Park

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    C’mon, Hearne. This story is like King Kong if they ended the movie when they left Skull Island.

    Wonder how many cops were in the group?

    • admin says:

      There is a bit more to the story that awaits, but I can pretty much assure you that won’t be a part of it

      • the dude says:

        Now if they were riding straight to Latteland to occupy parking spaces this would be a 5 story issue.

  2. the dude says:

    RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMING SPEEED!!!!

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Nah, a spray bottle with water. Those insta-bikers don’t ride unless sunny and above 65.

  3. If a biker has his old lady riding with him, then I would always extend the courtesy of letting him pass through the intersection before me. It’s the polite thing to do.

  4. Alphonse Tooty says:

    Were they pointing and laughing at your Fiat?

  5. legendaryhog says:

    I preface this with the fact that I have ridden, but no more (because I like my skull how it is) and this goes to my point. I drive a two-ton truck. You are on a 500lb bike….you may have the right of way, or you may not. Guess who is going to get fucked up 100% of the time, my fault or yours? Who cares? Do whatever you can to make sure that doesn’t happen. This also goes for you pedestrians on your cell phones who step off curbs without looking… Darwin rules all.

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