Port St. Lucie officers crack down on speeders and road violations, with focus on motorcycle safety

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Motorcycle fatalities on the Treasure Coast are on the rise.

In the past three years, St. Lucie County has had about a dozen motorcycle fatalities, eight of which were in Port St. Lucie.

That's prompted several law enforcement agencies to crack down on reckless motorcycle driving.

"Motorcycles clock at 116 miles an hour," said John Fazio, Port St. Lucie Police Department motor officer.

"They'll try to skate on the side of the bikes with their feet on the ground," said state trooper David Rosko, who also rides a motorcycle.

Allan Timmons, a fellow trooper, mentioned he sees riders popping wheelies and standing on their seats.

Officers tracked speeding drivers Thursday, making sure motorists and motorcyclists are obeying the law. Their crackdown is called "Operation Sundown."

"We have one of the highest fatality rates for motorcycles in the state of Florida," said Officer Fazio, of Port St. Lucie.

Alana Polega has been riding a motorcycle for more than 30 years. She bought her first bike in Oakland, Calif. in 1978, when it was unheard of for women to be behind the handles.

Even though her dad died in a motorcycle crash, Polega says she still loves to ride. She says she's defensive and careful because she knows the risks.

"It only takes a minute when you're on a motorcycle," said Polega. "That's why people that ride call cars cages because you're surrounded. You're in a cage."

Polega and the officers say drivers need to be more aware of motorcyclists and everyone on the road, no matter what kind of vehicle they're driving, needs to follow the speed limit.

Polega recommends drivers give bikers room, change lanes more slowly and don't run up on motorcycles' back ends. 

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