Features Op-Ed Here We Go Again: Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints

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Here We Go Again: Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints Hot

CheckpointsBack in October, I reported on motorcycle-only checkpoints that were not only common practice in some states, but were funded by a federal grant program. Our readers were quite vocal in their dismay at such a practice. Well, here we go again.

The Georgia State Patrol plans on conducting motorcycle-only traffic checkpoints. The concern is that these checkpoints will subject thousands of motorcyclists to required inspections if they are set up before, during, and after Daytona Bike Week. Obviously, as a neighboring state to Florida, Georgia would be a travel route for thousands of riders heading south to Daytona.

Fairness and legal questions abound. Where is the proof that motorcycle-only checkpoints increase the safety of motorcyclists? Do states have the authority to conduct motorcycle-only checkpoints? Is "probable cause" required to stop a motorcycle and, if so, what constitutes probable cause? Despite these concerns, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given Georgia a $70,000 grant to conduct roadside motorcycle-only checkpoints. New York State has operated a similar program.

The American Motorcyclist Association is calling on motorcyclists nationwide to protest the practice. Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government affairs states, “The AMA believes that the primary source of motorcycle safety is in motorcycle crash prevention and not in arbitrarily pulling over riders and randomly subjecting them to roadside inspections.” He continues, "No public money should be applied to promoting such a program without first addressing questions from the motorcycling community.”

So again we ask - is this kind of singling out of motorcyclists fair? Give us your thoughts.

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Comments  

 
0 # Betsy Lister 2011-02-28 06:56
This is discriminatory and an unfair practice! If it's truly safety, then encompass ALL road users, not just motorcycles!

If I were in my car, I wouldn't be stopped, but if I'm on my bike I am! What's that got to do with safety?

My bike was inspected by a lawful shop in the state where I live, so why do I need to be stopped somewhere else? I should be afforded safe travel without the fear of my rights being violated!
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0 # Courtney Collins 2011-03-03 06:43
It would be nice to see mass protests of this obvious discrimination and harassment.
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0 # Dean W 2011-03-03 12:16
Just out of curiosity, what's the penalty for blowing past a "motorcycles must exit" checkpoint?
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0 # bodhi - Sgt At Arms 2011-03-04 10:59
This is clearly a discriminatory practice. If there are to be checkpoints then all vehicles need to stop - whoa that would be a police state. Mass protests would be valid and welcome. Perhaps some lawsuits against the state patrol would be in order too.
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