Bill would stop federal funds for motorcycle checkpoints

Publish Date: 
Mar 6, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would prohibit the use of federal funds in establishing motorcycle-only checkpoints.

The "Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act," sponsored by sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), is similar to H.R. 1861, introduced in in the U.S. House by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

The bills 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 motorcycle riders or passengers.

The American Motorcyclist Association fully supports the bill.

"During the past two years, federal, state and local governments spent more than a half million dollars on motorcycle-only checkpoints," said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. "The AMA believes that money could be better spent supporting programs that conduct rider education, reduce distracted driving and encourage motorist awareness of motorcycles."

Motorcycle-only checkpoints were first enacted in New York. Georgia used funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in March 2011 to conduct motorcycle-only checkpoints as thousands of motorcyclists rode through the state on their way to Daytona Beach, Fla., for Bike Week. Another motorcycle-only checkpoint was conducted in northern Virginia during Rolling Thunder over the 2011 Memorial Day weekend.

California, Missouri, North Carolina, Illinois, New Hampshire and Virginia have passed legislation curbing MOCs.

Posted by Vince Guerrieri