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‘Hundreds of violations’: MPD investigating 38 motorcyclists for reckless driving on E. Washington Ave.

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Cars drive on E. Washington Ave. in Madison.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police have stepped up traffic enforcement on E. Washington Ave. over the past several weeks, and now they're investigating more than three dozen motorcyclists for an incident in early June.

According to police, the group of 38 motorcyclists ran red lights, popped wheelies, made illegal U-turns and rode in bicycle lanes.

Lt. Harrison Zanders, the operations lieutenant for MPD's central division, said officers tried to stop the motorcyclists twice.

"Unfortunately, nobody was willing to stop for it, therefore, they were eluding from officers," he said. "Then we also started to get some citizen complaints."

Officers saw the reckless driving continue from E. Washington Ave. to other major streets. MPD said the riders lapped downtown Madison on Gorham St., University Ave. and Johnson St.

"It's highly, highly active with traffic, and pedestrian traffic at that," Zanders said. "So, when you go to multiple areas and you do reckless behavior, you're subjecting more people to those actions."

MPD said its officers went through traffic camera video and noted more than 400 violations from the group. Zanders said police had issued 161 citations as of Friday.

Police said many of the motorcycles didn't have registration tags, and the department is now asking for the public's help in identifying five of the riders.

Though the incident happened nearly seven weeks ago, Zanders said police aren't giving up on holding the responsible drivers accountable.

"We're catching up," he said. "The big thing is that we're going to catch up."

He said reckless driving doesn't often happen on this large of a scale, but he said the department won't tolerate dangerous driving from anyone.

"We want to put everybody on notice that we're going to be out there," he said. "We're going to be taking enforcement, and we can't have reckless behavior. That's what it boils down to. We can't have reckless behavior on E. Washington Ave., nor can we have reckless behavior on any other thoroughfare within the city."

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Caroline Dade

Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter, 27 News

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