Bicyclists causing ‘safety hazard’ a concern in Milford

Last week, police published video sent from a motorist who followed bicycles as they traveled down the street in both lanes. (Submitted photo/Milford Police)

MILFORD — A 34-second video showed more than 10 helmetless bicycle riders pedaling through traffic lanes, some the wrong way while weaving closely past vehicles.

An approaching yellow light at Southeast Second and Marshall streets didn’t slow them and it soon turned red. One rider pushed his arm toward a nearby vehicle that was forced to stop, another popped a wheelie.

A motorist sent the footage to Milford Police, who published it on the agency’s Facebook page last Friday; identifying group members was the aim.

The video also was attached to a news release distributed to the media and available at the department’s website.

As 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, the post had received 154 comments, many recounting dangerous encounters with the two-wheelers and others lamenting the perceived dearth of local activities for kids to spend time more constructively.

Said one post that seemingly summarized the often-repeated concerns, “Something for the ‘kids’ to do would be great … but in the meantime, they need to get out of the road. They aren’t just bored, they are disrespectful & dangerous.”

Another post described a recent experience:

“I encountered bicyclists like this when I was in my car traveling north on Walnut Street near the cemetery this past week. They were biking right into the path of incoming cars, and surrounding my car while doing wheelies, etc.

“It felt very unsafe to me as a driver, and I was concerned about the bicyclists’ safety as well. They were riding all over the road as if the cars were not there at all.”

‘Inappropriate behavior’

Milford Police have “received multiple citizen complaints about this inappropriate behavior” and urged anyone who could identify persons in the video to call Sgt. Robert Masten at 422-8081, ext. 229.

“We also are asking for parents to have conversations with their children about being safe while biking and urge them to wear a helmet as it’s the law,” Sgt. Masten said.

Police asked that anyone else who sees dangerous bike rides to call 422-8081 “so we can have a patrol officer immediately address the issue.”

Some calls have arrived, assisting police in identifying the misbehaving bicyclists.

Sgt. Masten said multiple incidents have been reported over the last year or so, not limited to any one area.

“(There have been) no injuries that we’re aware of, but we have gotten many reports of behavior on the bikes that creates a safety hazard both with pedestrians and other vehicles,” Sgt. Masten said.

Officers aim to discuss the problems the bikes create when drifting through the streets, sometimes in larger groups, other times smaller.

“We’re going to identify the individuals first and have conversations once identified,” Sgt. Masten said. “It is always possible someone could be charged in these cases.”

Police in Smyrna, Harrington, Cheswold and Dover said on Tuesday that they haven’t experienced similar issues.