Police targeting ‘rogue’ Edens Expressway motorcyclists near Skokie, Lincolnwood
Updated: July 16, 2012 9:12AM
Law-enforcement officials from the Illinois State Police and local police departments are cracking down on “rogue,” high-speed motorcycle riders on the Edens Expressway near and around Skokie and Lincolnwood.
Operation Rogue Rider is a collaborative law enforcement strategy aimed at targeting motorcycle riders violating posted speed limits, improperly changing lanes, racing on the expressways and riding illegally on the shoulder, according to a news release from the Illinois State Police.
Rogue riding has prompted the three departments to partner resources during certain hours to address unsafe driving conditions for both riders and motorists, the release said.
“Riding a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous for riders and the motoring public if the proper safety measures are not taken seriously,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau, in the release. “District Chicago and our joint law enforcement efforts with Skokie and Lincolnwood police will target these violators who place their lives and the safety of others at risk when they choose to ride recklessly.”
Skokie and Lincolnwood police routinely receive nightly calls reporting rogue riders and unsafe driving conditions. During the first six months of this year, the Chicago metropolitan area experienced 13 deaths and seven injuries in motorcycle-related crashes.
“Whether a motorist is inside a vehicle or riding a motorcycle, throttling up to increase speed or racing on the expressways puts everyone involved in danger,” said Skokie Police Chief Anthony Scarpelli. “We believe this enforcement partnership and awareness campaign will alert drivers about potentially fatal consequences, and encourage motorists to report violators.”
Operation Rogue Rider will specifically target speeders, road-rage drivers and rogue riders on the Edens Expressway. Weekly enforcement suppression details will focus on late-night riders traveling at high rates of speed up and down a stretch of the Edens to Skokie and Lincolnwood.
The enforcement strategy starts Friday, July 13, with state troopers and motorcycle units working in tandem with Skokie and Lincolnwood operations. Skokie and Lincolnwood units will provide real-time information to State Police operations, so that information can be dispatched to State Police enforcement units on patrol, the release said.
Once the unit has the exact location or general vicinity, the area will be saturated with roving enforcement teams.
Operation Rogue Rider will remain in place throughout the summer months, according to State Police.
Officials plan to enforce the law and arrest those who operate motorcycles in a rogue manner on the Interstates of District Chicago. Fines could total up to $2,500, the release said, with jail time of up to one year for reckless driving.
Illinois State Police District Chicago Acting Lt. Jeff Grendzinski is responsible for coordinating District Chicago’s Operation Rogue Rider.
“Motorcyclists have a simple choice in the matter – violate the law and face hefty fines and jail time, or abide by the law and ride safely,” said Grendzinski. “Our top priority is for motorists to get to their final destination safely, and by implementing this enforcement plan, we save lives and prevent driving fatalities.”
The Illinois State Police encouraged the public to visit their website www.isp.state.il.us for more information about motorcycle safety under the newly dedicated motorcycle safety section.