City officials host open discussion on dirt bike concerns in Wicomico County

SALISBURY, Md. – Some say they’re a danger, others feel no threat to their two wheels.

Yet, they’re a big part of what has community members in Wicomico County concerned for their safety. That being dirt bikes.

Salisbury City Council now stepping in with a possible ordinance, but before they do that they wanted community members to weigh in.

As a result, Salisbury Councilwoman April Jackson hosted a discussion Tuesday evening to let residents voice their thoughts, on the growing tension between dirt bikers and other motorists. “But to know and hear how frustrating it is to the people who’s lives they’re putting in danger. Not only other peoples lives but their own lives are in danger,” Jackson said.

Community members, city officials,  and more were in attendance to get both thoughts and answers. The bikers on the other hand were a no-show. “They’re not going to come because they see these officers here and they know the officers are going to harass them after they see them,” Community Member Raeshema Hitch said.

“And what we want to do is hear from them and hear what it is they need. A lot people say they need this and they need that but you don’t know. Maybe its something we can help them with to keep them from committing these crimes,” Jackson said.

Some attendees I spoke with say that though they don’t agree that these bikers are making the wisest decision, they don’t believe they’re taking their lives for granted. “They’re thinking I’m skilled enough to do something challenging and its more so exciting to them,” community member Vicente Hernandez said. “Honestly it beats any gang activity or doing anything like drugs or being on the streets. They’re thinking ‘I’m being productive as I can and doing something fun.”

No matter what side of the lane you’re on, community members all agree on one thing; safety matters most. “The city really cares about doing something for the benefit of the kids and to be safe. I mean we all have our things that are fun but we gotta be safe,” Hernandez said.

“Do something to help the community out because once you help the community out then Salisbury will be a better place,” Hitch said.

Riding dirt bikes is already prohibited by Maryland state law. One of the solutions tonight included having the county designate a specific area for those bikers to drive feely that wont be any harm to others.

Another, raising the penalty fine to $2,000 in the city ordinance. Salisbury’s potential ordinance would be modeled similar to one currently in effect in Baltimore, and would have a $1,000 maximum fine and a potential of 90 days in jail.

There were questions revolving around whether or not law enforcement are allowed to purse these bikers. Those present say they are and will as long as it doesn’t put others in danger.

Categories: Local News, Maryland