Thursday, November 20, 2003
Carmel on the Case: Fast & Furious
More motorcycle deaths and injuries happen in Miami-Dade and Broward counties than anywhere else in Florida. Tonight a Seven News Investigation exposes some of those street racers who want to ride only one way: Fast And Furious. The Nightteam's Carmel Cafiero with the story.
(WSVN) -- Watch this!
At 90 miles an hour - this motorcycle rider hangs off the back of his bike!
It's called a superman seat grab.
It's a stunt that could easily end in death.
Speed is the main attraction for street racers who literally fly up and down south Florida highways in the dead of night.
"We were reaching speeds about 180 miles an hour," says one a racer who wanted to keep his identity secret.
Most of the riders are in their twenties.
And there seems to be no limit to how fast they will go or what tricks they will try.
Here - a stand up wheelie hits the speedometer at more than a hundred miles an hour.
I thought this guy was going to crash right in front of us.
Instead he did a trick.
"The End-O is a stunt where you just grab the front brake and you pray to God that you don't go over, but it looks pretty good when you roll the front tire," says Carmel.
"These riders all realize that their next run could be their last run," Carmel continues, "but they say they have a need for speed."
"We're like junkies," says a cyclist who preferred anonymity. "We're junkies to be honest with you. We're like an adrenaline addict. You know?"
A couple of the riders stopped to talk with us but didn't want to be identified.
The rest - and there were maybe twenty bikes out this night - kept away.
After all - what they are doing is extremely illegal.
"We've got a big problem with the Highway Patrol. You know?"
"Basically, they're doing their job and we're doing what we like so it clashes."
They can and do outrun patrol cars.
But if they're caught, there is a big price to pay.
"We go to jail. We get a felony charge. They take our bike."
"In a way, it's stupidity and we've got the machines to do it, so we get ahead and we do it."
This man was racing, despite the fact the day before he lost a friend - a fellow racer who wrecked and died on Kendall Drive.
"Some people have died. I'm not going to lie to you. But that's the risk you take with this sport. You know?"
But there is an option - the Moroso Race Track in Palm Beach Gardens.
Here, pros and novices alike can race anything - including motorcycles - on a safe track with medical help only a moment away.
"And the message to these young men is: Take a ride?" Carmel asks Laura South of Moroso Motorsports Park.
Her answer: "Take it to the track - don't be stupid."
But these racers want a track in Dade or Broward - which does not appear in the cards any time soon.
And that means they'll be on our streets - fast and furious - anytime - day or night.
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