New Bill Against Motorcycle Checkpoints

Legislation against publicly funded checkpoints

By Press Release, Mar. 03, 2011
Wisconsin Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan, today introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from providing funds to state and local governments for the use of creating motorcycle-only checkpoints.

“We introduced this important piece of legislation because Secretary LaHood and NHTSA remain adamant that mandating helmet use will prevent motorcycle crashes,” Sensenbrenner said. “The first step in motorcycle crash prevention should be rider education and increased awareness. Taxpayer money should not be spent on helmet checkpoints that do not prevent crashes.”

Last year, Sensenbrenner and Petri took the lead in sending a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood regarding their concerns with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstrations Grant Program. In their letter, Sensenbrenner and his colleagues urged Secretary LaHood to suspend NHTSA Administrator Strickland’s Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstrations Grant program until their concerns were addressed. The letter further stated that until evidence suggests otherwise, motorcycle safety funding should focus on awareness programs and crash causation studies.

"The checkpoints go beyond the helmet issue and also includes motorcycle safety inspections,” Petri said. “But we have limited resources, and motorcycle checkpoints won't get us the biggest bang for the buck. Also, it's outrageously intrusive. Nobody is suggesting pulling cars off the road for unscheduled inspections, so why are motorcycle riders being harassed?"

Since Secretary LaHood and NHTSA continue their efforts to use big government tactics to accomplish their goal of mandatory helmet laws, Sensenbrenner, Petri and Ryan decided to take the additional step of introducing legislation to prohibit any future funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints as they remain committed to ensuring the rights of motorcyclists.