Back 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.