It seems inarguable that a motorcyclist who drives at speeds close to 200 mph has a death wish. It would be their business if they were doing it on a private roadway, but when they do it on the state Thruway or Northway, as increasing numbers of them have been doing lately, it’s a matter of serious concern for the police and public.
The latest incident occurred Saturday night, when state police clocked a cyclist riding near the Twin Bridges, with passenger, at 145 mph. In Ulster County May 30, a biker was caught riding — in the rain, no less — at 193 mph. Then there was the guy May 2, who bragged to cops after being clocked at 170 mph that his bike was capable of going 20 mph faster.
It goes without saying that any vehicle — car or motorcycle — traveling at those kinds of speeds has a high probability of crashing. The roads, even superhighways like the Thruway and Northway, simply aren’t designed that well, nor is their pavement in such great condition. But even if the cyclists could completely control their bikes, they can’t control what other motorists are likely to do when a bike comes screaming up on them going that fast. Trying to get out of the way — a normal reaction — could be even riskier than just trying to hold the road.
Authorities, whose safety is also jeopardized trying to apprehend these maniacs, need to throw the book at them: They should impound the bikes and prosecute for felonious reckless endangerment, which would allow up to seven years in jail. If what these cyclists are doing doesn’t pose a “grave risk of death” and demonstrate a “depraved indifference to human life,” what does?