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Mar 5, 2014

AMA: Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Ban Federal Funding For Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A bipartisan bill introduced today by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) would prohibit the use of federal funds in establishing motorcycle-only checkpoints.

This is a similar bill to H.R. 1861, introduced in in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

Specifically, 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.

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."

The AMA has tracked motorcycle-only checkpoints since they were first enacted in New York.

The state of 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 one of the nation's most visible motorcycle rallies -- Rolling Thunder -- over the 2011 Memorial Day weekend.

Motorcycle-only checkpoints also were conducted in Utah when thousands of riders attended a world-class road-racing event.

California, Missouri, North Carolina, Illinois, New Hampshire and Virginia have passed legislation curbing MOCs. If passed, this federal bill will ensure that riders across the country are safeguarded from ineffective and prejudicial MOCs. For more information on the efforts by the AMA to fight motorcycle-only checkpoints, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/motorcycleonlycheckpoints.aspx.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.