WORCESTER (CBS) – Police in Worcester say they are prepared to arrest teenagers who have been riding bicycles recklessly on city streets.
YouTube shows the teens playing chicken with an oncoming bus before popping a wheelie and swerving at the last instant.
The ‘swerving’ trend is nationwide and police have created a special task force dedicated to stopping it in Worcester.
Paul Henrickson sees kids pull such stuff on Murray Avenue all the time.
“And they just don’t think about the consequences,” said Henrickson. “They’re basically cheating death, you know they have no sense of their own mortality. They’re doing it for thrills.”
The trouble is, packs of thrill seeking youngsters on bikes have now sparked complaints in several Worcester neighborhoods because their stunts aren’t just a danger to themselves.
“People make last minute evasive maneuvers from a vehicle and they can hit someone on the sidewalk, they can hit another car, not to mention the bike,” said Sgt. Sean Murtha of the Worcester Police.
Indeed a driver’s panicky jerk of the wheel becomes a danger to everyone nearby, which is why Worcester has formed a special task force to crackdown on swerving.
“We’re doing what we can to try and get ahead of it,” said Murtha.
Police have already confiscated a dozen-or-so bikes and if officers catch some kids actually “swerving” they’re pledging to charge them with “disorderly conduct” or “disturbing the peace.”
When contractor Trevor Delapara confronted by a small band of “swervers” who targeted him, he says the kids cursed at him.
“Their parents need to talk to them because it’s dangerous and they could get hurt,” Delapara said.
Which is why Worcester Police are taking their message to city schools and not biting on the “kids just having fun” excuse.
“There’s clearly no good reason, I think it’s just a teenage trend that hopefully will burn itself out soon,” said Murtha.
“It’s fun to them, it’s a game to them but it’s their life at stake,” said Delapara.
On Tuesday, the city council will hear from the police chief on “swerving” and the myriad of ways playing bicycle chicken with a bus can go wrong.