Clearwater cops on alert after bikers running red lights caught on camera

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a video that makes you cringe. A red light camera caught a motorcyclist in Clearwater racing through an intersection, where the rider was almost struck by a waiting car.

It’s an issue police see all the time. The problem is, if a rider takes off, most police officers aren’t allowed to chase them down, fearing they may cause a wreck.

In the video showing the intersection of Chestnut Street and Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater, you can count how many seconds the light is red before the biker races through.

If Sgt. Stephen Wannos from the Clearwater Police Department had been watching the intersection and saw the violation, he said he would have activated his lights and tried to stop him.

But, he wouldn’t get involved in a chase. That would put others at risk.

“He could have plowed into that car. Could have been two fatalities. He definitely would have probably died,” said Sgt. Wannos.

At Cycle Springs Power Sports in Clearwater, News Channel 8 showed the video to the general sales manager, along with another video, showing a group of bikers ignoring a red light, forcing their way through an intersection like they own the road.

“The next person that’s driving down the road that witnesses something like that and sees a biker who’s acting responsibly, immediately thinks that that that biker is in the same class as the biker who’s speeding and running red lights,” said James Wallace.

At Cycle Springs, employees try to press the importance of rider safety.

“If you want to go race, there’s drag strips down in Bradenton. If you want to represent the community that I work in and participate in, then you should definitely ride responsibly,” said Wallace.

Too often, bike accidents end with the rider dying.

“Anybody in their path unfortunately, I mean those things are unguided missiles at that point in time,” said Sgt. Wannos.

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