US House Committee Targets Federal Funding of Motorcycle Only Roadside Checkpoints
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that Wednesday, February 1st, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure rolled out the latest version of the highway bill. The bill is the long term funding bill for road construction and highway programs.
This version of the bill takes aim at a controversial practice of the Department of Transportation which funded motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints with taxpayer dollars.
The checkpoints have drawn much criticism from the motorcycle community at large. So much so, that longtime motorcycle champion Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) had introduced legislation to end the program by prohibiting any future Federal funding of any motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints. That bill is HR 904. The mammoth highway bill includes the same language as contained in HR 904.
Representative Sensenbrenner had this to say, “We need to focus on proven methods of motorcycle safety, including crash prevention, rider education, and training and proper licensing. Motorcycle-only checkpoints are an intrusive governmental overreach that place an undue burden on riders while doing little to actually improve safety,” He added, “It is encouraging to see that the transportation reauthorization bill will encourage more efficient use of taxpayer dollars and smart motorcycle safety policy.”
Representative Tom Petri (R-WI), a staunch defender of the motorcyclists, had this comment on the issue, “Motorcycle riders are right to be outraged at being singled out for safety inspections,” Petri said. “Nobody is suggesting flagging cars down for unscheduled inspections, and there’s no good reason why motorcycles should be treated differently. It’s unnecessarily intrusive, and not a smart way to use limited police resources.”
We at the MRF could not agree more. While swift passage into law is not likely, this is certainly an encouraging step.
The MRF will keep you updated on this issue.