Senators Send Letter Urging a Ban on Funding For Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints

motorcycle_only_checkpointRepublicans and Democrats may not be able to agree on much, but a dozen senators from both parties agree that motorcycle-only checkpoints are a bad idea. Republican Jim Sensenbrenner and 11 other senators have sent a letter to a key U.S. House committee urging them to support a bill which would ban federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints.

Congress is currently considering the surface transportation re-authorization bill, and Sensenbrenner and his colleagues are trying to get H.$. 904 and H.Res. 239 included in the bill.

According to the AMA:

  • H.R. 904 would prohibit the U.S. Transportation Secretary from providing grants or any funds to a state or local government to be used for programs to check helmet usage or to create motorcycle-only checkpoints.
  • H.Res. 239 would support efforts to retain a ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) ability to lobby state legislators using federal tax dollars and urges the agency to focus on motorcycle crash prevention and rider education and training.

A dozen senators have signed the letter, including; Thomas Petri (R-Wis.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.).

Here is a portion of the letter which was sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as to the panel’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit:

“These important pieces of legislation would ensure that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and NHTSA focus on proven methods of motorcycle safety… NHTSA’s Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration Program has not proven to be an effective use of taxpayer dollars….

“Through this program, the state of Georgia was provided a $70,000 grant to create motorcycle-only checkpoints to inspect rider compliance with DOT-compliant helmet regulations. The checkpoints are not a proven method of ensuring motorcyclist safety, and have certainly not been an effective use of limited federal taxpayer dollars….

“We take motorcycle safety seriously and want NHTSA to focus its safety efforts on proven lifesaving methods. Including H.R. 904 and H.Res. 239 in the surface transportation re-authorization bill would set the record straight, that the House of Representatives supports rider education, driver awareness, training and proper licensing as the best methods of preventing motorcycle crashes, not mandatory federal helmet laws.”

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