Motorcycles and motorcycle riders are sometimes shadowed by an unfair reputation as unsafe. Ask any motorcycle crash attorney about accidents and he or she will tell you that they do happen, but bikes and bikers are not synonymous with unsafe.
Missouri is among a handful of states considering legislation that would ban federal funds and grant dollars to municipalities that hold traffic checkpoints that target only motorcyclists and their passengers. The practice has already been outlawed in three states and legislation is pending in several others, including Missouri, Illinois, New Jersey and California.
Lawmakers at the federal level are considering a similar move. Over 50 lawmakers are asking for an end to the practice of targeting motorcyclists with motorcycle checkpoints. The bill is a move sponsored by a Representative Jim Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin and would ban grants from going to cities, states, counties and municipalities that single out motorcycle with checkpoints.
If passed the bill would require the transportation secretary to withhold federal grants or other funds for any municipality that utilizes any program designed to check safety equipment or any other reason in a checkpoint on motorcycles riders and their passengers.
The American Motorcycle Association claims that motorcycle only checkpoints unfairly discriminate against bikers. In a 2011 study the AMA found that thousands of bikers were pulled over in the state of Georgia on their way to the national bike rally in Daytona Beach, Florida. Similar checkpoints were noted in other states, and all of these checkpoints were funded through monies given to the governments by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The AMA contends that the practice of setting up checkpoints solely targeting motorcyclists is a form of profiling.