Pop a wheelie, pay a grand.The Legislature, in a crackdown on reckless driving, passed tough love Tuesday for daredevil motorcyclists.
The fine for popping a wheelie, if Gov. Charlie Crist signs the bill, will be $1,000 for the first offense, $2,500 for the second and $5,000 and the possibility of five years in prison for the third stunt.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Miami Republican, and Sen. Rudy Garcia, a Hialeah Republican, also turbocharges speeding fines for all vehicles: $1,000 for traveling 50 mph or more above the speed limit.
Second and third offenses get the identical treatment as wheelies, including the potential prison time.
Lopez-Cantera, who has ridden with Florida Highway Patrol officers on Miami-Dade highways, said he has seen riders pop wheelies -- lifting the front wheel and riding on the rear -- and speed as fast as 136 mph.
Motorcycle lovers don't like the bill; one blogger threatened to ''kill and eat'' Lopez-Cantera. Capitol police are investigating.
Lopez-Cantera shrugged it off. He's just happy colleagues didn't kill the bill.
''It's not often that bills of these magnitude pass in their first year,'' he said.
Will the ban diminish sales?
''Probably not,'' said David Alvarez of Palmetto Motorsports in Hialeah, which sells about 150 a month.
But he said the fines are likely to discourage stunts.
''The Evil Knievel days are kind of over,'' he said.