NewsDriving Tampa Bay Forward


Risky Riding: Action Air One captures aggressive motorcyclist on Selmon Expressway

Posted at 7:20 PM, Aug 07, 2018

TAMPA — Action Air One captured some troubling video on Tuesday morning of an aggressive motorcyclist weaving in and out traffic.

Sergeant Steve Gaskins with Florida Highway Patrol is not surprised by the video. He said it’s frustrating.

"This is something we see across the board and especially in the Bay Area: motorcyclists and other aggressive drivers,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

What’s worse about motorcyclists breaking the law, like the person we saw weaving in and out of traffic, is that there is little troopers can do about it.

"This kind of driving behavior, there is no way a patrol car we have can maintain the speed,” said Sgt. Gaskins. “We are not going to make the attempt because it's not worth the trooper getting hurt or an innocent motorist getting hurt."

Numerous studies, including from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, rank Florida among the top in motorcycle-related deaths. And it’s climbing by as much as 30% according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

Of course not every rider drives recklessly. If you ask Todd Hempstead, who owns Barney’s Bike Shops, one of the largest bike shops in the Bay Area, it’s important to educate motorcyclists even before they get on a bike.

“We always advise you wear proper safety equipment and you are riding within the laws so you keep yourself and others around you safe,” said Hempstead.

Hempstead also believes national numbers are skewed because there are more registered motorcyclists in the state; nearly five times as many as in other states. 

But state numbers are also troubling. The NHSA also found our local counties rank among the highest in deaths. Hillsborough County comes in at number two out of Florida’s 67 counties. 

“If you slow down and just be patient, it's not worth the risk,” said Sgt. Gaskins.

So what can you do as a driver? Troopers stress that you should report it. 

They are in charge of all roadways in the state and can dispatch help.

All you need to do is call *FHP or *347.