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VIDEO: Motorcycles race through Bayshore Boulevard, sparking renewed push for safety improvements

Posted: 10:49 PM, Feb 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-19 10:21:29Z
Speeding down bayshore

TAMPA, Fla. — New video captures two motorcycles racing up Tampa's iconic Bayshore Boulevard, sparking a renewed push for safety improvements.

"I think they were easily pushing 100 miles per hour," said Adam Wilson. “You can hear in the video, they just hit the throttle hard."

Wilson, who lives a couple blocks from Bayshore, was walking with his wife Sunday night when the motorcycles flew past them and several others out exercising.

VIDEO: Motorcycles race through Bayshore Boulevard

"It’s extraordinarily dangerous because you’re covering so much ground so quickly at those speeds and motorcycles carry a lot of mass similar to a car," said Wilson.

Witnesses say both motorcycles did not have a license plate.

"They’re going out to do that regularly, they don’t want to be caught," said Wilson.

It's the same stretch of Bayshore where investigators say Jessica Raubenolt and her daughter, Lillia, were killed by racing cars in May 2018.

ABC Action News has learned that Tampa Police officers issued 901 speeding citations and warnings in a three-month period after the tragedy. That's more than double the number issued during a three-month period earlier that same year.

"There are nine schools within walking distance of Bayshore Boulevard. That could have been a kid crossing the street right in front of that motorcycle, without a chance to stop," said Alex Engelman, with Walk Bike Tampa . "We’re a heartbeat away from another tragedy.”

ABC Action News asked Tampa Police about their continued efforts to curb speeding along the iconic corridor.

We’ve taken several proactive steps to curb speeding along Bayshore and Gandy through proactive patrol, strategic enforcement and community relationships. This includes: Working with local businesses on Gandy to eliminate gathering spots for racers; the installation of gates to close off part of Gandy has also help to prevent racers from gathering; working hand-in-hand with Pinellas County law enforcement to monitor the bridge. It’s important to note that Bayshore residents hired Extra Duty officers following the tragedy, which allowed for dedicated resources for prolonged periods of time in that area specifically for traffic enforcement.
Tampa Police Department