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Bikers slow down, state grant puts more law enforcement on the street

Posted: 7:40 PM, May 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-31 18:42:44-04
Bikers slow down, state grant puts more law enforcement on the street

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska State Troopers say enough is enough.

They're working with other local law enforcement to stop speeding motorcycles this summer. It's a battle between bikers and law enforcement that state troopers like Capt. Jason Scott are trying to put the brakes on this summer.

"When we talked with our allied agencies in the metro including Omaha Police, Douglas and Sarpy counties, all of us agree it's a unique problem we need to tackle together," Capt. Scott said.

For the second year in a row, troopers will conduct special enforcement operations to stop speeding bikers in Douglas and Sarpy counties. A nearly $18,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office will allow for aviation support as well as more law enforcement on the ground.

Helicopter video from last summer shows the end of a high speed chase that crossed the state line where the biker sped up to 140 mph.

"Motorcycles have a unique ability to evade law enforcement in a metro environment because they can drive around cars easier than we can in our own police cruisers," Capt. Scott said. "We'll use resources like helicopters from either Omaha Police or Nebraska State Patrol, or even both, to help out."

During last year's enforcement, dozens were cited for speeding. three were arrested for reckless driving and another three for flight to avoid arrest.

"The speed is a portion of the unique problem with motorcycles," Capt. Scott said.

On May 18, Omaha Police say a 22-year-old was speeding on a 2019 Harley Davidson near 80th and Maple Streets. Police say it's possible he was driving 60 mph in a 40 mph zone. The driver slammed into a white Chevy Malibu that was pulling out of a driveway, leaving an indention.

The biker was sent to the hospital to be treated for serious shoulder and face injuries. Other motorcycle riders driving by took notice of the gruesome scene.

"When I first saw it, I was in disbelief because I saw the car that had a huge dent on the door," Ben Blessner said.

Blessner drove by the accident, which is still under investigation.

"I assumed the worst that maybe it was a fatal accident," he said.

Blessner has seen the increase in law enforcement that started in early May. He admits he's a speeder and that he's been pulled over a few times.

He believe more troopers, officers and deputies patrolling the road will help prevent accidents like this.

"I've gotten pulled over maybe two or three times," Blessner said. "Every time I do, it kicks some sense into me that maybe I shouldn't be because next time it could be a lot worse consequences."

Capt. Scott says numerous citations have been made so far and three were arrested for flight to avoid arrest just this month.

"We've been working with the county attorney's offices to make sure there's a message that's sent here," Capt. Scott said. "We're not going to tolerate the aggressive driving."

It's the beginning of the season and they're just getting started.