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DC Insider: How much do motorcycle-only checkpoints cost you, the taxpayer?


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If you thought a few thousand dollars, you would be wrong.

For the past two years, the cost to federal taxpayers to fund motorcycle-only checkpoints in just three states is well over $500,000!

That’s right.

In addition to the privilege of being signaled out and directed to a discriminatory checkpoint, you also have the pleasure of knowing that your hard-earned tax dollars are allowing this to occur.

Specifically, the fiscal 2012 and 2013 state highway safety plans indicate that New York and the District of Columbia have earmarked federal grants for MOCs.

New York budgeted $490,000 in the past two years alone! Even more troubling, the state used motorcycle safety funds from Section 402 of Title 23. Funds from this section should promote strategies to prevent motorcycle crashes from occurring and not be used to arbitrarily pull over riders and randomly subjecting them to roadside inspections.

And this is just for two years. New York stated in its highway safety plans that it has conducted MOCs “officially” since fiscal year 2009, but fails to mention its costs for fiscal years 2009-11.

Additionally, the District of Columbia stated in its highway safety plans that it conducts two motorcycle-only checkpoints each year and uses federal grants to fund a $25,000 enforcement budget to help pay for it.

You may also remember that Georgia was the only state to receive a federal grant in the amount of $70,000 from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration program to create MOCs. The grant was used to conduct one or more roadside MOCs, including one by the Georgia State Patrol on I-95 on March 9, 2011 to single out motorcyclists on their way to Bike Week at Daytona Beach.

Fed up? You can do something about it.

Help us get additional cosponsors for H.R. 1861, the Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act. The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), will protect motorcyclists’ rights and promote crash prevention as the most effective use of taxpayer money to save motorcyclists’ lives. It will also prohibit federal funds being used by states to conduct MOCs.

Act now by using our alert for H.R. 1861 to send a prewritten message to send to your representative!

To view the AMA's efforts to end motorcycle-only checkpoints, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/motorcycleonlycheckpoints.aspx.

You—the motorcyclist— can count on the AMA to guard your freedoms while you enjoy the ride.

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