Bike Checkpoints – USA

mrflogo-f6USA – The American rider organisations the MRF – Motorcycle Rider Foundation and the AMA – American Motorcyclist Association have been fighting against motorcycle-only checkpoints.

Motorcycle-only checkpoints first appeared in New York in 2007 and lead to funding for these checkpoints being provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – NHTSA which included “targeting” motorcycle events were thousands of riders were riding in to attend.

In 2011 the federal government funded motorcycle-only checkpoints through a $70,000 grant that’s around £45,000 or €61,000 in todays money.

The NHTSA has argued that these checkpoints are a way to reduce motorcycle crashes.

In replying to this the AMA have said that, “The AMA believes the money used for these operations could be better spent supporting programs that conduct rider education, reduce distracted driving and encourage motorist awareness of motorcycles.”

Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations has added that, “Motorcycle-only checkpoints are discriminatory, forcing riders and their passengers to do something not asked of other citizens, simply because we choose to travel on two wheels, or three, instead of four.”

The MRF have said, “Motorcycle riders already are subject to state registration, inspection, licensing and helmet laws and must stop at sobriety check points like all other motorists.”

So how have the riders organisations been bringing an end to these checkpoints.

Using legislative means they are with support from their politicians introducing legislation to end the federal funding of motorcycle only roadside checkpoints.

The “Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act” would restrict the  Secretary of Transportation from granting funds to any government entity for a  program to check helmet use or to create checkpoints for an operator of a  motorcycle or a passenger on a motorcycle.

Both the American Motorcyclist Association and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation fully  support this federal bill.

If passed, this federal bill will cut off NHTSA funding and ensure that riders across  the country are safeguarded from these ineffective and discriminatory stops.

Jeff Hennie, vice  president of government relations and public affairs for the Motorcycle Riders  Foundation stated, “We are excited to work on this most important issue,” adding “It is imperative that we end the discriminatory act of motorcycle only  checkpoints.”  

“Using motorcyclists tax dollars to discriminate and harass them with mandatory  roadside checkpoints in the name of safety is offensive and just plain wrong. No one  is more aware of the condition of the motorcycle than the person riding it.”

Proven  Programs That Help Prevent Crashes

ama-checkpointWayne Allard from the AMA said, “If the NHTSA truly is interested in motorcyclists’ safety, it would fund proven  programs that help prevent crashes, rather than these checkpoints.”

Meanwhile back at the lobbying and political end of getting ride of this situation Congressman James F Sensenbrenner has just circulated a “dear colleague” letter to inform his fellow members of the House of Representatives that he will be soon introducing the legislation to end the federal funding of motorcycle only roadside checkpoints.

The legislation would put and end to the funding for the checkpoints. In the letter Sensenbrenner states, “I will be reintroducing H.R. 1861, the Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act, to protect motorcyclists’ rights and promote crash prevention as the most effective use of taxpayer money to save motorcyclists’ lives.”

The MRF, along with ABATE (A Botherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) of Wisconsin met with Sensenbrenner earlier this week to discuss this important matter.

The MRF obviously strongly opposes this sort of motorcyclist discrimination. “Pulling law abiding motorcyclists off the road does not make anyone safer is a waste of taxpayer money and is law enforcement harassment at its worst,” said Jeff Hennie.

Both rider organisations are asking riders to engage their member of congress to gather as many cosponsors as possible to ensure passage of the bill on this important matter impacting motorcyclists on a national level.

AMA Motorcycle Only Checkpoints – Click Here

Original Sources – MRF – – AMA –

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