‘Motorcycle mob’ wanted for dangerous activity on Ont. highways
Ontario Provincial Police are turning to the public for help identifying a “motorcycle mob” accused of dangerous acts on southern Ontario highways over the August long weekend.
Police say a large group of motorcyclists were “rallying together” to perform “stunts” on highways 409, 427, 401 and 403, as well as the Q.E.W., Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Express Way on Sunday afternoon. They say they received multiple complaints about the motorcyclists’ antics, which included “driving in a dangerous manner” and “performing all sorts of stunts,” according to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.
The motorcyclists also allegedly came to a “dead stop” at various points on highway roads, Schmidt said.
“They are all off their motorcycles walking around,” Schmidt said, in reference to images seen in aerial video.
“This is a completely irresponsible activity and behaviour that we don’t ever want to see happen,” Schmidt said. “Had there been a collision, had someone gotten hurt or someone gotten killed, we’re in the range of criminal negligence.”
Schmidt encouraged anyone involved to get a lawyer and come forward, as he says it’s only “a matter of time” until police identify them.
“We will aggressively and relentlessly go after these folks for as long as it takes,” he said. “We are coming.”
Distracted driving remained flat, year-over-year, with 26 charges both years, but alcohol impairment went up slightly, with 17 charges laid this year compared to 11 last year.
Prevost says, however, there is a silver lining.
“One good thing is failing to move over for emergency vehicles charges have gone down,” he says. “This year we have 63 charges, compared to 101 from 2016.”
The law requires motorists to slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the highway when its lights are activated and to move over one lane if possible.
Failure to do so can result in fines from $400 to $2,000 and three demerit points for a first offence.
Ontario Provincial Police say they have launched an investigation after approximately 100 motorcyclists were seen “dangerously” weaving in and out of traffic on several Toronto highways.
The OPP said officers received several complaints Sunday about a large “mob of motorcycles” maneuvering on Highways 401, 403, 409, the Queen Elizabeth Way, the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. Police released an aerial video showing the motorcyclists riding together and another video showing the group stopped.
“These riders were all together in a group, doing stunts, stopping traffic, stopping on the highway, getting out and really causing a menace on the roads because of their actions,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told Global News on Wednesday evening.
“Those actions could potentially cause serious issues if there was a collision. This is on the verge, on the brim of criminal negligence had there been a wreck, had someone got into a collision because of stopped traffic.”
Schmidt said when the motorcycles stopped, it caused massive traffic congestion.
“All to get off their vehicles and watch other riders perform stunts, smoke their tires and basically just be trouble on the highway,” he said.
“This is completely unacceptable and unbelievably dangerous for this kind of activity to be happening.”
Schmidt said officers are still investigating, but he said there are a variety of criminal and provincial offence charges that could potentially be laid.
Toronto police told Global News they also received several calls on Sunday about motorcycles on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway.
WATCH: Ontario Provincial Police have launched an investigation after a “mob” of motorcyclists were seen driving dangerously on several Toronto highways. Ashley Molnar reports.
A video shared on Instagram by the group “TorontoBikeMeets” on Monday, a day after the pursuit, appears to show several motorcycles completely stopped on the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway, a short distance away from the Don Valley Parkway. The sounds of motorcycle engines revving could be heard before the camera moves to show the empty road ahead and the downtown Toronto skyline.
Police said they’re aware of postings on social media, but haven’t publicly connected any videos or pictures to their ongoing investigation.
Sunday’s incident comes after video surfaced last year of a large motorcycle “mob” making its way through Mississauga. There was also another video shared of motorcyclists doing wheelies in front of Toronto police officers on the Gardiner Expressway.
Schmidt wouldn’t comment on the police tactics used Sunday, but said officers used a variety of resources to crack down.
“A lot of people think riding these machines that they are untouchable, that we’re not going to go after them,” Schmidt said.
“We may not chase after them on the highway, but as you can see, we have airplanes in the sky watching over this and we’re getting tips from the public as well.”
Police said they continue to look for information from the public and dash camera footage as a part of their ongoing investigation. Schmidt said people can call the OPP at 416-317-8250 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
Meanwhile, he had a message for those involved.
“If you’re one of those motorcyclists that was involved in this group, you should know that just by being a party to that offence you are now just as liable for the criminal activity and for the actions that were taken by one as the whole group,” Schmidt said.
“This is your time to come forward. If you want to get a lawyer, find that person, get some counsel and come to the OPP, make yourself known and we will certainly assist and go through the process of whatever we can to make this right.”