Various facts: urban rodeos

Various facts: urban rodeos

Urban rodeos “are often caused by cops chasing and pushing riders to death.” It only took one sentence for the director of the film Rodeo, Lola Quivoron, does not light the fire. Asked by Konbini on the occasion of the presentation of her first feature film at the Cannes Film Festival, the young woman pointed to the responsibility of the police in the accidents linked to this “misunderstood” practice, according to her. .

Words that did not fail to make people react, in particular David Lisnard, the mayor of Cannes: “With Yves Daros (chief of the municipal police of Cannes) and the municipal police team of the town hall of Cannes we do not We weren’t convinced by the lady’s words, which look like a sketch from Les Inconnus. We will continue to pursue and arrest the perpetrators of urban rodeos. Our tribute yesterday to his work…”, he said on Twitter, sharing another message on checks carried out earlier this week in the city.

“Who pays if they don’t have personal injury insurance? »

If the declarations of the young director go badly, it is above all because the practice of “wheeling” – or “cross bitumen” – can sometimes lead to dramas. Proof of this is last Sunday with the accident of a five-year-old child in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis). The little boy was hit by a speeding motorbike while riding with his parents. Four youths were arrested and taken into custody. “It’s dangerous for themselves, obviously, but above all it’s extremely dangerous for the people around, motorists, pedestrians, cyclists”, deplores the head of the municipal police of Lannion, also a representative of the National Union of Municipal Police (SNPM) in the Côtes-d’Armor, which observes a “real increase in urban rodeos in recent years”.

Especially since it is often uninsured vehicles and unlicensed drivers, alarmed Yvan Assioma, Ile-de-France regional secretary of the Alliance National Police union, “it increases the risk of hit and run in the event of an accident “. “It is often motocross that are used, they are not approved for public roads, so they cannot be insured”, adds the Lannion policeman, who wonders about the consequences: “What is happening? in the event of an accident ? The day they run over a child or an elderly person, what do they do, they stop or not, as they have no license or insurance? “. “Who pays if they don’t have personal injury insurance? asks, for his part, Jérôme Jimenez, communications manager for the UNSA Police Ile-de-France.

A phenomenon that is gaining ground

Faced with the growing increase in the phenomenon, “we must show those unconscious of the wheel that there are sanctions”, pleads the trade unionist. Because there are penalties. Since August 3, 2018, urban rodeo enthusiasts risk a year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros. The law also allows law enforcement to seize vehicles and revoke or suspend drivers’ licenses. Since 2018, convictions linked to this phenomenon have also increased by 1,400%, and by 40% in 2021 alone, the Ministry of Justice said last January. “These practices can be deadly. Drivers, very often teenagers or young adults, take immeasurable risks for themselves and for others,” adds Jérôme Jimenez.

Especially since the followers of “wheeling” seem to visibly abandon working-class neighborhoods for city centers. “The phenomenon has become more democratic, it is taking another turn. Their interest is to go downtown, during the day, sometimes even at the height of the crowd, ”adds the UNSA trade unionist. “The promotion of the act is stronger and more significant in the city center, in the eyes of all and sometimes in front of state buildings,” he adds.

If the phenomenon is exploding, it is also because it has found its audience on social networks. Some have even become “stars” of “cross bitumen”, like the “Daltons”, a group of rappers from Lyon. Followed by more than 26,000 people on Instagram, the small group has become famous for its clips, but above all for its urban rodeos in the streets of Lyon and on the ring road. “You have to be careful, between the film Rodeo and the media overexposure with “the Daltons”, we are starifying this phenomenon, this is exactly what these young people are looking for, “warns Jérome Jimenez.

New ways to avoid the chase

But for the police, there is no question of taking responsibility for accidents. “Contrary to what this director says, we are not pursuing, it is not the end, it endangers officials, residents and young people who are driving”, hammers the head of the municipal police of Lannion. On Tuesday, his team arrested three drivers identified through videos posted on YouTube and on social networks. “We did our investigation from that, in collaboration with the national police and the prosecution, and we arrested them at home, out of bed, without a chase,” he explains.

Since January 2022, and the adoption of the “criminal responsibility and internal security” law, drones can also be used by the national police, with the authorization of the prefect, to fight against urban rodeos. “This weekend, we had very, very good results with the drones, it prevents the cops from chasing the driver. We know where he is going and we catch the guy, ”we welcome the Ministry of the Interior, this Wednesday, after a vast operation this weekend. Some 118 scooters and motorcycles were seized from Friday to Sunday during 950 police and gendarmerie operations, 96 people were taken into custody and 3,235 fines were drawn up, Beauvau announced on Monday. “When you take all the risks on the public highway, without a license, without insurance, you are first of all the danger for society”, wishes to remind Jérôme Jimenez.