New York authorities bulldoze 100 'illegal' motorcycles

A bulldozer in the US was filmed crushing a bunch of lined-up illegal motorcycles that had been seized by authorities who described them as "dangerous."

New York Bulldozer crushes 100 motorcycles. - BBC

Ordinarily, when bulldozers and motorcycles mix, the former is prepping a dirt track for the latter. In the case of New York City, though, the combination created a less desirable result. 

That is because the New York authorities decided to use a bulldozer to crush 100 - one hundred - motorcycles in one, thoughtless pass. 
The bikes were crushed because they were illegal. In total, New York is planning to crush 2,000 illegal bikes. 

In a press conference - a small part of which was published on the BBC - the New York Mayor, Eric Adams, said: “They are not only a nuisance and an annoyance to us all, but they are extremely dangerous, and we know that. We see them all the time and we hear them all times at night. 

“They will be crushed today, so that they can never terrorise our city again.”

As fans of motorcycles, it is painful to see motorcycles crushed, and to hear them spoken about with words like “terrorise,” “nuisance,” and “dangerous.” Even though these bikes were illegal, and the words used by Adams might be applicable in this case, we know that those sorts of words are easily - and wrongly - brought against motorcycles and motorcyclists as a whole. A case of a ‘loud minority’ causing the harmless majority to be painted with a negative brush. 

But, ignoring semantics and ‘maybes’, the way the ‘illegal’ (the BBC says that they are dirt bikes and are therefore illegal on paved roads, but the video they embed clearly shows a bunch of scooters lined up) bikes have been dealt with is objectively bad. Crushing and scrapping anything is obviously environmentally harmful, but it also destroys what could be a useful vehicle in other places. 

In Africa, the official MotoGP charity Two Wheels for Life, together with Riders for Health, has been able to supply medical workers with motorcycles that enable them to reach the most remote places more easily. This weekend, the World Rally Championship is in Kenya, for the Safari Rally, and the main descriptor of the roads that make up the rally is “rough.” It is not hard to imagine how 1,000 dirt bikes could be of benefit in Africa, where a large amount of the roads are loose-surface - dirt. There is a link there, somewhere.

The work of Two Wheels for Life and Riders for Health is life-saving, and even if the bikes crushed in New York are not right for the requirements of Two Wheels for Life, they could have been used by someone, somewhere. But, instead, they were crushed. A vehicle that could have been of genuine benefit to someone who does not have the ability to find and/or buy one themselves also misses out on one of these motorcycles, because the authorities in New York decided that because something is illegal it must be destroyed, and probably because they wanted to ‘make a statement’ about their ‘tough-on-crime stance’. It is not hard to think of a better option. That they did not or could not is, honestly speaking, embarrassing.

Lead image and top in-text image courtesy of BBC.

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