Cops Target Lane-Splitting, Speeding Motorcyclists

Illinois State Police focus on the Edens Expressway starting Friday

Illinois State Police are cracking down on "rogue riders."

A new strategy called Operation Rogue Rider starts Friday and targets motorcyclists who dart between vehicles, race on expressways at over 100 mph and speed on shoulders.

Police plan to focus on the stretch of the Edens Expressway between Devon and Old Orchard Road, where such "rogue" riding has drawn hundreds of complaints from Skokie and Lincolnwood residents.

"Sometimes it sounds like a race," said resident Ross Webb. "The motorcycles are revving up and they shoot down north on Edens."

"I'm waiting for a crash to happen," said resident Peter Moirano.

In the past six months, 13 people were killed and seven hurt in motorcycle crashes in the area, according to state police. Fatalities up 85 percent and injuries have increased 75 percent over last year.

"Their speeding and erratic movements are risky, reckless and too often result in tragedy," said Capt. Luis Gutierrez.

Sgt. Mike Cahill of the Lincolnwood Police Department said the warning is simple: "These joyriders can look forward to hefty fines and jail time if they are caught breaking the law."

State police have identified hot spots and will keep open communication with Skokie and Lincolnwood departments during target hours to locate lawbreakers and arrest them.

"We are optimistic these efforts will increase public safety and will help save lives," said Skokie Commander Brian Baker.

The initiative will continue through the summer and will possibly expand to the Dan Ryan Expressway and I-57.

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