Motorcycle Only Checkpoints. Protecting Or Profiling Bikers?

motorcyclecheckpoint As far as I am concerned, and I just checked again the definition of “profiling”, to organize motorcycle only checkpoints fits perfectly in the register of discriminatory tools creating a kind of social sorting and segmentation with very unfair effects on bikers. You may or you may not know, if you didn’t experiment it, that motorcycle only checkpoints are more and more frequent in the US. Last example of this police practice was in North Carolina at the beginning of the month. A Holly Ridge motorcycle checkpoint was organized near jacksonville, NC with state officials justifying it by stating that it was “to protect the motorcycle rider and his passenger”.

So, they didn’t stop cars because they didn’t want to protect as much car drivers and their passengers!?!? This checkpoint was the second statewide and part of a new initiative by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Singling out motorcycles on the highway is discriminatory, said Janice MacKay, director of the N.C. chapter of B.O.L.T. (Bikers of Lesser Tolerance). In response to MacKay’s complaints David Weinstein the program’s director stated that “Studies have shown that this method of traffic law enforcement is most effective in encouraging voluntary compliance with highway safety laws. A motorcycle checkpoint is not designed to discourage operation of motorcycles but to protect the driver and passenger because motorcycles are more difficult to drive than automobiles”. MacKay, who recently lost a bid for an N.C. Senate seat, is of course not satisfied with Weinstein’s answers. She sent a letter to Gov. Bev Perdue calling for an immediate end to what she calls motorcycle profiling. Have you ever been victim of police profiling? Tell your story (stock picture not in NC).

Zipper's

31 Responses to “Motorcycle Only Checkpoints. Protecting Or Profiling Bikers?”


  1. 1 choppertom Oct 28th, 2009 at 7:04 am

    another way for big brother to put more laws in order…..

    you know that when states decide to profile, they will always write new laws “to protect”.

    but the underlying key is to CONTROL!

  2. 2 MDK Oct 28th, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Just trying to keep the biker man down!

  3. 3 J Oct 28th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Ahh….. and semi-trucks are more difficult to drive than cars, also- so gonna checkpoint those next?

    If that’s their only basis for this crap, then good luck………

  4. 4 BadMonkeyMW Oct 28th, 2009 at 8:28 am

    If they actually cared about the safety of motorcycle riders they would drastically increase the penalties for auto drivers who injure or kill someone on a bike. The current laws regarding this are a fucking joke.

  5. 5 Troy Oct 28th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    The statement “motorcycles are more difficult to drive than automobiles” is confusing to me.

    Everywhere I have lived, I have been required to have a special license to operate a motorcycle. I was checked for safe riding practices at the time my motorcycle operator’s license was issued. Therefore I should be exempt from the checkpoint and should allowed to roll threw….correct?

  6. 6 Danny D Oct 28th, 2009 at 10:01 am

    “Ahh….. and semi-trucks are more difficult to drive than cars, also- so gonna checkpoint those next?”

    Not next, first. Check points for semi’s are call weigh stations.

  7. 7 hoyt Oct 28th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    good point, Troy.

  8. 8 J Oct 28th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    the purpose of weigh stations is to collect taxes, not violate civil rights.

    Troy is correct- laws already exist to evaluate riders. This is redundant, and a thinly-veiled excuse to rummage thru our stuff, looking for an excuse to seize property- this is about guns and drugs, not “traffic safety”.

    Will be amusing to watch the line of bikers alongside the road be missed by inches by all the mouth-breathers on their cellphones, driving 15 over and oblivious to all- mostly because of the 3 lbs of pot in their ashtrays;

    Oh yeah, it’s ALL about “traffic safety”, uh huh.

  9. 9 Dave Blevins Oct 28th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Just more of cops being cops… I suppose the police could better spend thier time tracking down real criminals, but Hell, criminals are dangerous! It’s easier to just harass regular people.

  10. 10 Curt! Oct 28th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    This may or may not have anything to do with this story, but I found it amusing as a way of profiling a target citizenry. I was rolling down I-70 in Kansas a couple weeks ago and came up on a roadside sign. The bright green sign said. “Drug check ahead” a few hundred yards ahead another sign said ” Drug Dogs in use” shortly after that was “Be prepared to stop”. These were all coming up on a hill that you couldn’t see over. After the last sign there was a little used exit. As I topped the hill, NO cops. Then I looked back and there were several Kansas Hiway patrol cars and a K-9 unit sitting at the bottom of the exit, and another unit blocking the entry road. If you took the exit , you were presumed guilty of having drugs on you and they thoroughly searched your belongings. I thought about going around and taking the exit just to give the guys something to do, but I wasn’t entirely sure there wasn’t a beer can under the seat, or a kilo of coke hidden in a fender well ( Ibought the truck used, and ya’ never know.)
    Anyways, I was talking to a trucker friend and told him what I’d seen. He told me they were pulling this stunt all over Kansas on the 4-lanes. No word on how many drug traffickers they’ve snared with it.

  11. 11 Chessie Oct 28th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I wrote some of my own thoughts on the subject at my blog.
    Here are some points.
    1. At these MC only check points, if you resist or become verbal about their motives they can and will force you to do an embarrassing and potentially character damaging roadside drunk test.

    2. If you try to invoke your rights at these check points and deny them access to your personal belongings tied to the bike or in saddle bags, you will be detained further until a dog or probable cause can be found. Again potentially damaging to your civic reputation.

    3. Motorcycles are NOT more difficult to operate. Any moron who can balance a bicycle, concentrate and focus on the task at hand can and will operate a motorcycle safely. The biggest difference between the innate ability to operate a car easily and operating a MC safely is the amount of years spent as a child/passenger observing parents/drivers of four wheeled vehicles. We do not normally have the time in the saddle as children observing our parents behaviors and safe operation of motorcycles….like we do cars. PERIOD…. it is only because of familiarity that driving a car seems so easy or like 2nd nature. All the same, one needs to focus and be aware of everything around them IF YOU DRIVE A FOUR WHEELED VEHICLE OR A TWO WHEELED VEHICLE.

  12. 12 Scot Oct 28th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    “because motorcycles are more difficult to drive than automobiles”

    Really??? Why do most states allow 14 year old kids to get motorcycle licenses if they are more difficult to drive than automobiles? Makes perfect sense to me…

  13. 13 Fausto of MotoXcycle.com Oct 28th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I hear next week they are only targeting red motorcycles!

  14. 14 nicker Oct 28th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmmm…..???

    RE:
    “…Any moron who can balance a bicycle, concentrate and focus on the task at hand can and will operate a motorcycle safely…”

    May be in some alternative reality………..

    But in this reality the Gyro-effect of the wheels do the “balancing.”
    (that is, until the wheels lock up….. then the morons with death-grip on brakes fall over)

    -nicker-

  15. 15 BREWdude Oct 28th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    North Carolina is not wanting motorcycles here at all. The worst written helmet law in the country. If you have a vintage car or motorcycle and transferring it from another state it can take up to 12 months and you’ll probably get an 2009 special construction title. Now the Governors office is pushing these road blocks. I got ahold of some NC State legislature and they said this is the first time the heard about it. Please write, email and call your Representive, Senator and the Governors office on all 3 subjects!

  16. 16 raycwheeler Oct 28th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE ticketed .

    This has been happening forever , at least since the mid 60’s . Try carrying a notepad and pen , when possible and not life endangering , write officers name and badge numbers down , take cell phone photos or video when possible .

    Havin fun yet ?

    Being stopped is part of the ongoing adventure , be prepared .

    If your over 50 try the ” I ‘am a retired member of the bar trick , worked for me .

    Or when multiple tickets are written in the pack your riding with , borrow your new best friends ticket ( the guy closest with a ticket ) and act pissed when the cop asks for your id , just wave the ticket and rant a little . WTF might as well have fun too .

    ray usa

  17. 17 stephen Oct 28th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Greetings comrades
    Welcome to the new world of “change”. Here in the united socialist republic of Australia our glorious chairman Kevin Rudd and his fellow state chairmen have introduced new laws to protect us from the biker gangs. All hail chairmen Rudd.

    It is now illegal in the socialist state of New South Wales to be a member of a club and police have unlimited power to detain and search any member of any club for any reason. Naturally all you law abiding citizens of such a glorious socialist state have nothing to worry about. We your mighty leaders have heard you, you wanted change and we have delivered on our promises and have brought you change. All hail chairman Rudd.

    Watch out America, your leaders are watching how we are being screwed down under and you can bet they are thinking of ways to do it to you. The “unforseen” consequences of the new law banning “outlaw biker clubs” is that it actually makes it illegal to associate in ANY club, cricket, football, returned servicemen, and all types of social clubs. Now all the government have to do is declare a club to be “acting against the public interest” and you are all guilty of an offence. How long until the government make it illegal to belong to the opposing political party? Chairman Kevin Rudd is already trialing a countrywide Internet filtering program to block “offensive” sites. Only the government have the blacklist and there is no appeal if they put your web site on it. How long will it be until America follows the glorious lead of the united socialist republic of Australia?

    Folks get up off your seat and protest now before you end up like us down under.

    From comrade Stephen.

  18. 18 Chessie Oct 28th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    “But in this reality the Gyro-effect of the wheels do the “balancing.”
    (that is, until the wheels lock up….. then the morons with death-grip on brakes fall over)”

    -nicker-

    Nicker, the VERY SAME EXAMPLE OF “BALANCING” HAPPENS ON A BICYCLE AS WELL. GYRO or what ever you wish to call it…it’s the same, IF YOU ARE ABLE TO CONCENTRATE, IF YOU ARE ABLE TO OPERATE A BRAKE, A THROTTLE, A CLUTCH, IF YOU ARE ABLE TO GET FORWARD MOMENTUM THEN YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO OPERATE A MOTORCYCLE. Why do you get defensive over the description? The operation of a motorcycle is as easy (to me) as eating cake.

    My point was simply this: Operating a motorcycle is not HARDER than operating a car, it is different, but it damn sure aint HARDER.

  19. 19 nicker Oct 28th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Chessie,

    RE:
    “… Why do you get defensive…”

    I think your confusing “defensive” and “correction.”

    RE:
    “…. [your] point was simply this: Operating a motorcycle is not HARDER than operating a car…”

    All i’m saying is…… your wrong …… (with a capital “W”).
    There is a big difference in being able to “get a motorcycle rolling down the road” and actually knowing what to do when issues arrise…. like oil, any-freeze, gravel, darting-animals, panic-stop…etc. etc.

    Hell, a common cause of “clueless (i-been-ride-n-since-high-school) poser” crashes is not understanding motorcycle steering dynamics. If you’ve been around a while you can’t have missed a scrapped-up “wanna-be” say:
    “….man something screwed up with the bike, it just wouldn’t make the turn man, headed right for the ditch, nothing i could do to stop it….!!….!”

    If you think that the ability to “operate a brake” translates directly from car to motorcycle, your in for a one very rude awakening.

    -nicker-

  20. 20 Rogue Oct 29th, 2009 at 5:45 am

    IF YOU WANT TO HELP CONTACT THE NEWSPAPER AT THE FOLLOWING LINK AND COMMENT THERE AS WELL.
    THANK YOU
    ROGUE

    Please add your comments to this news article from Jacksonville NC.

    http://www.jdnews.com/news/motorcycle-69181-checkpoint-ridge.html

    Motorcycle group upset over ‘profiling’
    Comments 2 | Recommend 0
    October 25, 2009 2:20 AM
    LINDELL KAY
    A motorcycle checkpoint in Holly Ridge earlier this month has raised the ire of motorcycle rights activists.
    Singling out motorcycles on the highway is discriminatory, said Janice MacKay, director of the N.C. chapter of B.O.L.T. (Bikers of Lesser Tolerance).
    State officials said traffic checkpoints targeting motorcycles help save lives and ensures compliance with the law.
    The Holly Ridge checkpoint netted 19 charges against motorcyclists ranging from driving while impaired to non-compliant helmets. The checkpoint was the second statewide and part of a new initiative by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
    Onslow County is ranked No. 1 in the state with the number of motor vehicle crashes that involve motorcycle fatalities, said Holly Ridge Police Sgt. Keith Whaley.
    MacKay said stopping a motorcycle just because it is a motorcycle is equivalent to pulling over a black man for “driving while black.
    “This is an enforcement operation by cops with guns and tasers who target motorcyclists for unconstitutional harassment, interruption of our right to travel unencumbered, detention, illegal search and seizures, and detention, MacKay said. “It is blatant discrimination, not against a racial minority but against a societal subculture.
    The Governors Highway Safety Program supports impaired driving, seatbelt and motorcycle checkpoints to save lives and to educate drivers, said David Weinstein the programs director in response to MacKays complaints.
    The studies have shown that this method of traffic law enforcement is most effective in encouraging voluntary compliance with highway safety laws, he said.
    Weinstein said a motorcycle checkpoint is not designed to discourage operation of motorcycles but to protect the driver and passenger. He said motorcycles are more difficult to drive than automobiles.
    The General Assembly has recognized this by mandating additional driver training and a motorcycle endorsement to legally operate (a motorcycle), he said.
    Weinstein said the use of checkpoints has been upheld by North Carolina courts. He said it is often impossible for law enforcement to determine whether a helmet complies with state law without taking a close look.
    He said motorcyclists who are in compliance with the law are only delayed for a few moments and then allowed to proceed on their way.
    “This seems like such a small sacrifice to make to help reduce injuries and fatalities of motorcycle riders, he said.
    MacKay, who recently lost a bid for an N.C. Senate seat, is not satisfied with Weinsteins answers.
    She sent a letter to Gov. Bev Perdue calling for an immediate end to what she calls motorcycle profiling.
    “Profiling motorcyclists by having discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints is disturbing, MacKay said in her letter. She said she would rather see the state spend the money on fixing roads and bridges to alleviate traffic congestion.

    Contact Lindell Kay at 910-219-8456. Read his blog at http://onslowcrime.encblogs.com.

  21. 21 Freedomlaw Oct 29th, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Choppertom has it exactly right.. Government universally abuses power and the Orwellian (think the book 1984) way that the government does this is by using nomenclature that misleads the audience of lemmings into the false belief that this is done in our best interests. I have an idea. Try a roadblock for school buses to make sure that each child is wearing a seat belt. Oops…thats right. Children don’t wear seat bels in school buses and rollover school bus accidents often result in head injuries for children. This is another example of the big lie. People with power abuse others. In short, the government is way too big. It is only a matter of time — and I mean this — until they seize our motorcycles for our safety, just like they seized our guns for our safety and they seize our money for our safety.

  22. 22 choppertom Oct 29th, 2009 at 7:35 am

    and they seize our land……..for our safety, of course.

  23. 23 Chessie Oct 29th, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Nicker,
    There is no doubt in my mind. I am not WRONG…I am of a DIFFERENT mind than yours.
    The operation is different than that of a four wheeled machine. It’s not harder. It has a different set of dynamics one has to learn. But to say operating a car isn’t a learned response just as demanding in it’s intensity as a motorcycle, then perhaps you should speak to someone who has only grown up around motorcycles. Watching a rider from a 3rd world country where the norm in the family and in the country is the motorcycle, learn to drive a car is just as confusing to him as learning to ride a motorcycle is to us here in the states. Our observations and experiences as children is of the four wheeled vehicle. The comments made by our driving mentors during the years we are observing them lend us great familiarity to the operation and dynamics of the car. The same is true of the child growing up in 3rd world countries, where his major observations have been with the motorcycle.

    To be naive enough to believe one has less to concentrate on while driving a four wheeled vehicle, is paramount to believing one has the right to talk on his cell phone while driving. I know you don’t agree with that. I know you disagree with the people who try to read, put on make-up, argue with their kids…all while driving. I think people would try to do all this on the motorcycle (You need only look at how many people the third world countries will put on a motorcycle. Or the loads they will transport with a motorcycle.)

    It’s not harder to operate a motorcycle, it’s just different. It’s not as familiar to us as the car …so it feels daunting, but as the experience and the knowledge is gained, it becomes easy. I just don’t take my riding for granted, I ride well because I am always learning, always aware. I do not take my ride for granted ever… Nor do I believe, simply because I have been riding for almost 40 years.

    I have NEVER SAID nor do I advocate that operation of a brake on a bike is the same as operating a brake on a car. Every example I cited pertained to the motorcycle. You know that, Stop trying to bait me with a silly argument that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

  24. 24 janbolt Oct 29th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Thank you, Cyril, for alerting folks that this is happening. Here is an update. Earlier this month, I filed a complaint with the ACLU. This week, I checked on the status of it. Their legal director will be reviewing it this weekend. Also, state senator Jerry Tillman has sent a letter of inquiry to the newly appointed director of the Governors Highway Safety Program asking who authorized the motorcycle only checkpoints.

    Also, thank you to the commenters here for being much more concerned about the loss of liberties than the commenters at jdnews.com – like Rogue said, if you want to help out, please comment there as well. (No need to engage in arguments with the rampant mindless that you will encounter). Your help is needed in order to help influence public opinion. The way it works in NC is that the court of public opinion is a very powerful influence over policy. Many people see this as their chance to voice their support for local law enforcement, and they haven’t a clue about the dangers of a government which constantly encroaches deeper into our lives.

    jan

  25. 25 Bigalyts Oct 29th, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Don’t Think that these Jerk-Off, Politicians, Police Force and Red Neck Haters think they Just Target Motorcyles. N.C. are the only State I have ever saw to have Drug Searches on the same Highway and for No reason whatsoever. They are and do Target Florida Tags as well. I also heard from a Source that is more than reliable that they have an Electric Money Counter as well.. What it does is able to scan the strips in the new currency. The State of North Carolina also takes you to a Justice of the Peace if you are caught 15mph over the Speed Limit. They have you follow them to the closest JP .If at all Possible Tow your Bike in an enclosed Trailer, with no Florida Plates and carrying Old Money and In a PICKEMUP !

  26. 26 David Oct 29th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Do you really think you know about ” CONTROL” ? Go to You tube do a search for Lindsey Williams and watch his videos!! I think it will open your eyes whether you believe it or not. Sounds reasonable to me……David

  27. 27 nicker Oct 30th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Chessie,

    RE:
    “…Stop trying to bait me with a silly argument…”

    Look, you said:
    “…Any moron who can balance a bicycle, concentrate and focus on the task at hand can and will operate a motorcycle safely……The biggest difference between the innate ability to operate a car easily and operating a MC safely is the amount of years …”

    Are you trying to tell me that these two statements (that you made) don’t mean:
    “motorcycle riding is as easy as car driving” …..????

    Hell, all i did is use the operation of the brake as an obvious example of a “BIG difference” between the two. So, lock up all the wheels on your car and ya come to a smoking halt. Not normally a big deal. But try that on your scooter, even money says your average Poser is in for some road-rash and repair bills (minimum!).

    RE:
    “…Stop trying to bait me with a silly argument…”

    What silly arguments…..???

    RE:
    “…It’s not harder to operate a motorcycle, it’s just different. It’s not as familiar to us as the car…”

    Look, i don’t know what your 40 yeras of experience are or where ya grew up.
    But my family didn’t have a car till 1953, we only had motor bikes.

    Speaking to your point, i had plenty of “scooter familiarity” growing up.

    But even with that i still had to learn some rude lessons about counter-steer and brake cntrol.

    My point is simply this, the “degree of difficulty” in necessary operator skill between cars and bikes is significant. And any perception that it isn’t is what is driving both accident stats and insurance rates.

    Sorry, simply don’t see any “silly argument” in that…

    -nicker-
    (and yes, some of my riding has been in the Third World)

  28. 28 Desperado Dave Nov 2nd, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    This is not leal,I’s slective law enforcement,

  29. 29 Reece Nov 8th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Don’t think big brother is watching? The scanners you pass threw at the airport is also capable and does track how much of the new paper money you are traveling with…especially on international flights. That is why you have to declair if you are carrieing more than $10,000.00. If you are, and don’t declare it, it is a felony. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. 30 nicker Nov 8th, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    RE:
    “…scanners you pass threw at the airport is also capable and does track how much of the new paper money you are traveling with…”

    Sounds like another Web story.

    -nicker-

  1. 1 Mandatory Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints Pingback on Nov 28th, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Comments are currently closed.

Subscribe

Socialize

Facebook Google+ Twitter