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Minn. motorcyclist in Panda suit ticketed by State Patrol

A motorcyclist was cited for reckless driving Aug. 31, 2017, on Interstate 394 after being observed on traffic cameras riding in a panda costume. (Courtesy of the Minnesota State Patrol)

MINNETONKA, Minn. -- Halloween may be a month away, but the Minnesota State Patrol already has sent a message to motorists about operating vehicles in costume.

A motorcyclist wearing a panda suit was cited for reckless driving and his panda head was confiscated Aug. 31 off Interstate 394 and Shelard Parkway in Minnetonka.

Another motorist reported a panda-costumed rider earlier in the summer, worried that the biker’s vision was obstructed while weaving through traffic and riding with no hands on Minnesota 101. Later this summer, dispatchers saw the same rider on traffic cameras on Interstate 394 and alerted troopers in the area.

The biker said he pulled the stunt because he wanted his videos to go “viral,” according to the State Patrol. He was wearing the panda head over his helmet, which limited his vision on his motorcycle.

The department reminds riders to make sure they can see and be seen, and that a panda head is no substitute for a Department of Transportation-approved helmet.

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