County Uses Aviation Unit to Track Down Speeding Motorcycles - NBC4 Washington

County Uses Aviation Unit to Track Down Speeding Motorcycles



    News4 got an inside look at a special police enforcement program. For the first time ever, Prince George's County is using its helicopter to track down motorcyclists who are too dangerous to chase on the road. NBC4's Darcy Spencer shows how one of those chases unfolded from the air. (Published Thursday, June 27, 2013)

    Officials in a Maryland county with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities are now using a helicopter to track down speeding riders in an effort to reduce accidents.

    Prince George's County's Aviation Unit flies hundreds of feet in the air, tracking motorcycle riders who can reach speeds of up to 150 mph.

    "The traffic lane will be clear and the next thing you know, a cyclist will be coming up so fast that the car doesn't see him in time," Lt. Anthony Cline, Commander of the county's Aviation Unit said.

    Operation Road Runner is an effort by the county to decrease dangerous, sometimes fatal accidents that can be caused by ground pursuits.

    "Most of the bikes can outrun out cruisers, so having the aircraft is a valuable asset," Cline said.

    During a ride along with News4, the unit was able to arrest a motorcycle rider driving a stolen bike.

    "We allowed out officers to back off and conduct it safely and the final result was an apprehension," Cline said.