Federal Judge Rules That New York State Motorcycle Checkpoints Are Not Unconstitutional

In several US states, motorcyclists have claimed and sued their governments, claiming that their constitutional rights are violated during police or troopers highway checkpoints. Their argument is that these checkpoints unfairly and unconstitutionally are systematically targeting bikers under suspicion of wrongdoing. If checkpoints from “a general interest in crime control” without suspicion always amount to unconstitutional seizures, such initiatives to control bikers coinciding with or during motorcycle rallies are defended by police as safety measures.     

On Thursday, in a case followed nationwide, 4 bikers sued New York State troopers under the argument that the State checkpoints were a mere pretext to look for criminals and that it is de facto an intrusive and unfair practice assimilating all bikers as potential criminals. This week, Judge Gary Sharpe has rejected motorcyclists’ claims under the ruling that these checkpoints followed by the issuance of many tickets were were enacted to promote motorcycle safety, a manifest of public interest.

Judge Sharpe’s ruling states that “5,342 vehicles passed through 17 checkpoints in 2008. Authorities inspected 2,278 and made four criminal arrests in addition to issuing 1,064 tickets, including 365 for helmet violations, 99 for other safety violations, and 600 for non-safety violations. The ruling cited state data showing an increase in motorcycle fatalities the preceding nine years, and an increase in tickets issued for illegal helmets from 35 in 2007 to 796 in 2008, almost half at the checkpoints” He also founded his decision based on a 17 percent decrease in motorcycle fatalities from 2008 to 2009. Lt. James Halvorsen, detail commander of the state police motorcycle unit, said that during the ongoing checkpoints program most riders with approved helmets are waved through the checkpoints, where they slow but don’t stop.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Mitchell Proner will appeal and declared that “It’s obvious just from their own internal documents that police is looking for criminal activity,” As example he mentioned a checkpoint near Buffalo’s Peace Bridge including border patrol agents, and one in central New York near a rally sponsored by a motorcycle club including gang task force officers. He said “The fact they didn’t find crime doesn’t mean that wasn’t what they’re fishing for and that he just shows you’ve got law abiding citizens on motorcycles primarily being inconvenienced.”

41 Responses to “Federal Judge Rules That New York State Motorcycle Checkpoints Are Not Unconstitutional”

  1. 1 rob Nov 21st, 2011 at 8:13 am

    No state police here in nyc; they only stop you if your exhaust is super loud or you ride like an asshole……………..

  2. 2 Moore Sensible Products Nov 21st, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I don’t see how they can possibly get away with this.

    The cagers will be in for a rude awakening when they start doing these “safety” checkpoints on cages, and you can bet that it’s coming. Way too much revenue to be had for the cops to ignore.

    Give ’em an inch and they’ll soon take a mile.

  3. 3 Boss Hawg Nov 21st, 2011 at 9:02 am

    This will be very interesting. MSP…cagers are stopped already.

    Until we police our own, the punks and the gangs…live with it.

    Boss Hawg

  4. 4 yagottabekiddinme Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I don’t know why anyone would live in NY,

    strict fire arm laws
    overbearing law enforcement
    high taxes,

    Nice to visit the city or saratoga but it’s a backassward state…

  5. 5 Mr. Potts Nov 21st, 2011 at 10:50 am

    It’s not going to be just New York now! It will spread across the nation like wildfire.

    It should’n have surprised anyone. Government now tells us that we must pay for mandatory insurance, can’t smoke cigaretttes, cigars in public even though tabacco is legal.
    The Constitution no longer has any meaning and we have to do what Washington thinks is good for the masses! The land of the Free?

  6. 6 Toby Nov 21st, 2011 at 11:39 am

    The ruling is pretty narrow, and affirms a long established precedent of police checkpoints on public roads. Anyone ever get stopped at a DUI checkpoint? Yes, they are looking for criminals, bikers and cagers alike. Lest you think this is socialist judge, he has a reputation as a constitutional constructionist and was a Bush appointee.

  7. 7 hoyt Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    All of the vanity helmet-wearing riders have a role in this based on the govt’s stats of prior checkpoints….

    “if we do these checkpoints, we can get x in ticket revenue solely based on the nitwits who wear brain buckets as helmets.”

  8. 8 Grey Beard Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    If it is unconstitutional, then the truckers can say the same for saftey check points signaling them out.

  9. 9 Manhattan Choppers Nov 21st, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Gentlemen.. we are moving so in the direction of Totalitarianism. Another fine example of our gov hard at work but can’t balance a budget. Frankly quite sick of living in a police state,few more yrs of this and I’m off to Colombia where the women are howwtt and the beer is cold…Sieg Heil

  10. 10 just my opinion Nov 21st, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I am not sure why people think that the police should not use common sense, of course they are looking for criminals, does it really matter if it is a drunk driver or a bank robber or a rapist or some guy riding an un safe motorcycle or a guy wearing a brain cup instead of a real helmet that gets caught in these stops? We expect the police to serve our communities but we don’t want to let them do their job when it inconveniences us. You cannot have it both ways, either you want to police to help keep people some-what honest or you don’t. Allot of people said where was our government when the world trade centers were attacked, people were screaming that our government should have stopped that attacked before it happened, but we want to limit the police and other government agencies on what they can do and since those attacks of 9/11 we all have to be scanned at the airports, yes it sucks that we have to be inconvenienced but what is the alternative? Should we just let anyone get on a plane? Should we not ever check any driver until they have already run off the road and killed a kid playing on the sidewalk in front of his home because that driver decided he could drive with a blood alcohol level of 3 times the legal limit? Should we not be concerned that the guy stopped at a check point is in our country illegally? Should we be more worried about the rights of a few criminals then our own right to live without fear of some knuckle head killing someone you care about? I also find it interesting that the attorney in this case now says “As example he mentioned a checkpoint near Buffalo’s Peace Bridge including border patrol agents” does that statement mean he intends to now argue that some illegal aliens may be caught in these stops so we should not stop anyone? It really amazes me just how many people in this country think it is OK to cross our borders illegally and then they expect us to support these illegals with welfare, food stamps, housing assistance and free hospital visits. And those same do-gooders don’t seem to realize that our country has an unemployment rate of more than 10% but we also have an estimated 30-40 million illegals in this country working if all those illegals were not here taking jobs from Americans we would not have a 10% unemployment rate it would be closer to 3 or 4% at most and if the rest of those illegals that are collecting welfare and food stamps and housing assistance would be sent packing we could be paying down the deficit instead of supporting those that came here for the free ride on our backs. But instead of dealing with these issues we whine about being stopped at a check point. People in this country need to stop worrying about petty issues like this and spend more time dealing with the issues that are killing this country by ruining our economy because these bigger issues will haunt your children and grandchildren if we don’t change things that are happening as we speak. If we don’t get a handle on these damn politicians allowing these things to happen we won’t have to worry about being stopped anymore because none of us will be able to afford a car or a motorcycle let alone the gas to fuel it. That is my opinion and it is probably worth at least as much as I charge you all for it.

  11. 11 chaos cycle Nov 21st, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    they been pulling that shit for years here, i have gotten my unfair share of tickets already

  12. 12 zyon Nov 21st, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Like I’ve said before, abide by the laws in the state and you have nothing to worry about! They have road checks for infant/child car seats, road checks for DUI, road checks for insurance, road checks for vehicle inspections and of course, road checks for motorcyclist.

    if the police in my area catch just one ass hole riding on a stolen frame or with a stolen engine, I’m all for it.

  13. 13 BB Nov 21st, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I was born and raised in Boston, Mass.. It was a yearly thing (every season), the cops would set up “check points” along side roadways they new were heavily traveled by motorcycles. They would stop motorcycle’s as they came by (seemed they were targeting Harley’s more than others). Their reason was checking for illegal pipes. Which would then lead to checking license, reg, insurance, you get the picture. They would pin whatever they could on you and right you up. At the night time “check points” they would have a flatbed truck parked on standby. Now I have not lived there for over ten years, but I hear it is still going on. How is this not profiling?

  14. 14 Walt Lumpkin Nov 21st, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    A road check for ALL vehicles might be an inconveniece but it does not target a specific group. When they start targeting low riders or cars tricked out with “rims” or better yet BMW and Mercedes drivers the cops may not be looked at as jackbooted thugs by bikers. I’m guessing the Bimmer and Merc drivers might have a different opinion though.

  15. 15 deadwod1783 Nov 22nd, 2011 at 7:03 am

    It never ceases to amaze me how people can support these type law enforcement actions. As long as they’re coming for someone else just cheer them on. Remember,,,when they came for the Jews I did’t care because I wasn’t Jewish? We all know how that worked out. Don’t we? Actions like this lead to a totalitarian government. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”. Benjamin Franklin

  16. 16 Boss Hawg Nov 22nd, 2011 at 9:03 am

    JMO and Zyon…I’m in with you.

    Having served my country during Vietnam protecting liberty and freedom, and having lived in several other countries…there’s nothing like the United States of America.

    Now shut up and clean her up if you want it different. To those that don’t MOVE!

    Boss Hawg

  17. 17 Rogue Nov 22nd, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I am not surprised by the Motorcycle Only roadside stops and as you see there are some pretty Strong Opposing Views posted here and that is how it should be. We are never going to get everyone to agree on a subject.
    With that being said, For the record I am opposed to them. I am against stops that single out a class of people or personal transportation vehicle. It has been many years since I have had a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) and that is a different situation all together. Again many pros and cons.
    In my opinion these roadside stops are an amped up version of the old I stopped you because your taillight is not working scenario. Of course when you checked the taillight was in fact working and the cops say must be a loose wire or bulb. He then says since I have you stopped let me see your license, registration, insurance papers etc. Sometimes it goes to have you been drinking, where have you been, where are you going? Okay you see where this is going.
    These stops are nothing more than fishing expeditions and granted sometimes they do land one but in the process they have violated the rights of many other people.
    Some of these stops end up making money in the form of fines for such things as the officer did not think the motorcyclist was wearing what he considered a legal helmet.
    I would like to suggest that those who oppose the law telling them to wear a helmet and or exactly what kind should consider taking the ticket to court. One argument is that you thought the helmet was legal. So now you and the cop have different opinions. The next thing to do is ask the state to Produce A List Of Helmets that they say you should wear. This will not happen and you as a consumer can say: Since the state has made this law they are now obligated to inform me of what helmet is legal. This should not be decided by a cop on the side of the road.
    In my opinion these tickets are designed to make money for the agency issuing the ticket and the way to beat that is to take the profit out of it. If you take the ticket to court the cop, prosecutor, judge and other court personnel are there being paid and even if you are found guilty that costs more than the fine. More likely the prosecutor will want to throw out the case and or the judge will find you Not Guilty. Either way you win. If enough people do this the cops will stop issuing tickets.
    This Does Work. I know as I was involved with it in Connecticut some years ago and won. Eventually that state Repealed its Mandatory Helmet Law with no restrictions.
    Now as far as AIM Attorney Mitchell Proner filing a law suit for 4 of the people whose rights were violated that is a start but surely not the only answer. I have not seen what I consider any real wins from these attorneys.
    If you have time to post here then you have time to write your legislator. Those that feel really strong about your opinions can even consider a ride where multiple riders get helmet tickets and go to court on your own. Would you not rather Speak For Yourself than have someone else do it?

    No matter what side of this issue you believe in Speak Out!

  18. 18 Moore Sensible Products Nov 22nd, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @ justmyopinion-

    I’ll tell ya why. 3 or 4 years ago, before the body searches in airports started, myself and a female friend caught a flight out of Phoenix coming back to Milwaukee. My prosthetic knee set off the metal detector. I purposely wore shorts so that I could show them the scars, they could wave the wand over the knee, and we’d be on our way.

    Not so fast. Both she and I are heavily inked, and were detained for well over an hour. After the usual bullshit, I was strip-searched. When they still couldn’t find anything, they swabbed my hands and analyzed the swabs. They came back positive for “chemicals.”

    I had just moved a friend’s machine shop to AZ, have wrenched my whole life, and now make a small line of motorcycle products. Damn right my hands test positive for “chemicals.” However, this meant that our bags were pulled and torn to shreds as they re-searched them and I even got to talk to a couple of feds.

    My name is an extremely common American name. I’m also Milwaukee born and bred, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. My female companion has the exact same specs.

    You can bet your ass that if we had been wearing long sleeves, none of this would have happened. They saw our ink and we were profiled. Even the rest of the passengers were bitching about it.

    You go ahead and give up all of your own personal rights and freedoms “for your own safety and well being” if you want to, but I prefer to keep mine.

  19. 19 just my opinion Nov 22nd, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Moore Sensible Products; You say that I want to give up my rights but have you even bothered to look at things from my point of veiw? How about my right to walk down the street without some asshole driving drunk and running me and my grandkids over. Do I have the right to be walking on a sidewalk without the drunk running me or my grandkids over? “that could have been the drunk caught at the DUI check point” but I guess you think he should be allowed to do as he wants because he has rights. What about my rights? What about my right to not be blown up by some terrorist on my next flight. Do I have that right? It always amazes me how some people think their right to break the laws should some how over rule my right for you to not do damage to me or my family. We cannot have the right to drive drunk and than say others have a right to not be hurt by that drunk. So if I have to choose then damn right I will choose in favor of stopping those criminals before they can hurt my family or yours. Because I personally believe that we all have a right not to have some idiot hit us while driving drunk or shot us while robbing a bank or blowing us up while trying to make a point about his radical religious beliefs. So if you are bothered that some one stopped you at the airport. I guess on that day it just sucked to be you. Just so you know I have a freind that retired from DEA and he worked at an airport. If you were stopped it is highly likely that they had a tip that a drug dealer or other type of criminal would be coming through on that day and unfortunatly for you he must have looks similar in height, weight, build and hair color. But I also know enough about how these things work too know if you had been co-operative and not arrogant or giving them a hard time about doing their job you would have likely been treated more like the average guy you are and not like you could be a threat. Remember the cops never know who they are dealing with until you have talked to them and showed them by your actions and demeanor that you are not the criminal they thought you may have been. If you really think that tatoos caused your problem I would have to disagree because almost always if you are stopped because of being tatted the cops know what tatoos a criminal has and know what they are looking for as far as tats go. So if they stopped you because you are tatooed, as soon as they seen that your tats did not match the tats of the guys they thought you could be you would have been cleared to leave and more than likely that would have been preceeded by an apology for your delay if you treated them with the same respect you want. It happens on occasion that the cops do stop the wrong guy but what should they do? Just stop no one and then the guy that really does want to blow up the plane gets on with you and your girl friend? Should they just let the guy trying to smuggle heroin just get on the plane? It also amazes me how some people will break the law but the second they get caught the first thing they say is ” I want that free attorney I have rights” The bottom line here is I don’t like giving up my rights or freedoms and if my rights cost a criminal some of his rights or freedoms than I say screw that criminal my rights as a legal law abiding citizen should trump his rights as a criminal. And being stopped and asked a few simple questioned is a small price to pay for the right of my grandkids to play safely on their sidewalk. Sorry if you don’t understand my rights and the rights of my family but that would be your problem not mine.

  20. 20 Moore Sensible Products Nov 22nd, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    @ JMO-

    I don’t have a problem with checkpoints. I have a problem with MOTORCYCLE ONLY checkpoints. To borrow a line that I’ve seen many places, “It’s not illegal to be a biker.”

    Where did I say I want to be able to break the law or want anyone else to be able to break the law? And why do you assume that I gave the airport cops a bunch of flack? FYI, my wife is in law enforcement. I treat all members of law enforcement with courtesy and respect.

    I’m also a law abiding citizen, don’t drink AT ALL, OR do any illegal drugs. But right away, YOU assume I’m a criminal and was breaking the airport cops’ balls because I disagree with you about MOTORCYCLE ONLY checkpoints? That says a lot more about you than it does about me.

    May all of our grandchildren stay safe.

  21. 21 Mike Greenwald Nov 23rd, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Just My Opinion,

    Your arguments seem to lack basis. The flaw in those arguments might be rectified if you would take the time to reflect upon your belief in our government. The false flag that you raise about your safety from drunks or your grandchildren being safe is nonsense. Don’t assume safety and don’t put them at risk. You claim to have a friend that was former DEA. Was he on the drug selling side (reverse buy) or was he on the money side (laundering or acquisitions)?

    What won’t you do, if the government tells you to do it for your own good or the good of the community, state, country?


  22. 22 Jim Compton Nov 23rd, 2011 at 8:58 am

    The problem stems from our elected officials. If we elect biker friendly representatives, we will have biker friendly representatives.
    An example of this is Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) who is trying to get legislation (H. Res. 1498) through the Congress that would support efforts to retain the ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) ability to lobby state legislatures using federal tax dollars and urge that agency to focus on crash prevention and rider education. Not “motorcycle law enforcement demonstration grants” and a national helmet law.
    For myself, I started a “motorcycle only checkpoint group” on Facebook. It is open to any who wish to share information about checkpoints or anything that deals with bikers and these checkpoints and related issues. Right now, in Clark County Nevada a group of bikers has initiated a suit against law enforcement agencies regarding their discriminatory enforcement of the helmet law directed at certain motorcycling “types” (bikers).
    We need to become knowledgeable about our elected officials and elect officials who are biker friendly.
    Without this bikers will be consigned to being second-class citizens with out representation and subject to the whims of legislative bodies, federal and state, with little or no respect for our chosen lifestyle.

  23. 23 Mike Greenwald Nov 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Jim Compton,

    Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) also authored the “Patriot Act”. I am wondering, what hidden gems are in store for us with any of his legislation?


  24. 24 just my opinion Nov 23rd, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Moore Sensible Products; First I would like to address your statement that I said you are a criminal. Not true what I said was on the day you got stopped at the airport is was highly likely the cops had a tip of a criminal coming through that looked like you. I did not say that criminal was you. Now as for motorcycle only check points it is my understanding that these check points happen mostly at motorcycle events therefore you have a majority of people on bikes and not in cars in the are of those check points they are not set up to be motorcycle only and in fact cars that go through that area are also stopped. So the statement of motorcycle only stops is incorrect from the very start. So here begins the flaw in your arguement. The only reason there are mostly bikes is the fact that these stops are done during the bike events. The key word there is mostly bikes not only bikes. If and when the cops set up DUI check points after a rodeo, they will stop more pickup trucks than cars. Should we insist that all pickup truck stops should be illegal because they are profiling rednecks driving trucks? By the way I only drive Ford trucks so don’t come back and say I am against truck driving people or I think they are all rednecks, I am just trying to show you how your idea of bike stops is incorrect in my opinion. And what about check points after concerts, the cops stop music lovers. Is that profiling? This really goes back to common sense it is more likely to catch some one that has been drinking DUI after a concert or rodeo or riding drunk after closing time at the bars during a major bike event. People drink more than they should at these events and they do drive or ride away and sometimes they do kill innocent people. I don’t think we should expect the police to do their job but then tell them they are not allowed to use common sense. I would never expect to catch a fish in the street after a heavy rain although it is possible that a near by pound had over flowed and a fish may have been washed into the street therefore making it possible but very unlikely to happen in real life. Just as I would not expect the police to set up a DUI check point out side of a church parking lot instead of out side the gates of a major event where alcohol is served even though it is possible that one of those folks is coming out of church may be DUI. It is however common sense to set up at locations such as motorcycle rallies and concert and rodeo’s “that will catch the most people drinking and driving or drinking and riding while under the influance” just as it is common sense that if you want to catch a fish you go to the lake and not try catching fish in the gutters of the street after a heavy rain. Don’t expect the police to catch a bank robber if you forbid them to go to the bank. Don’t expect the police to catch people riding drunk if you forbid them from setting up check points at major motorcycle events. The diffinition of profiling in most cases is really just using common sense. If you want to catch people riding their bike drunk you don’t go to another town when a rally is happening in your town. Lawyers came up with that whole notion of profiling nonsense so that they could make money from the lawsuits and we as americans have bought that line of B.S. We really need tyo get back to using common sense and allow our cops to use common sense as well.

    Mike Greenwald; You say my arguement lacks basis and is flawed then you make this statement — Was he on the drug selling side (reverse buy) or was he on the money side (laundering or acquisitions)? Do you assume that all cops are crooks and only do illegal activity or is it just your way of trying to back your view point that all stops are illegal?
    Again if you want to stop the police from doing their job just say so, but don’t stand behind some lame arguement that the police should not use common sense to catch people doing things that even the people doing it knows is wrong.
    And as for this statement — What won’t you do, if the government tells you to do it for your own good or the good of the community, state, country?

    I use common sense in determining what I should and should not do and that is why I think your arguement that the police should be restricted from using common sense to catch DUI riders or other illegal activities is flawed. So what if you get stopped momentarily. If you are doing nothing wrong you will ride on and enjoy your day or night whatever the case may be. And lets be honest these stops take less time than the average traffic light so what is the big deal. That is unless you are one of the people caught riding drunk while at that check point and if that is the case I for one am glad the police caught that drunk before they hurt themselves or more important hurt someone I care about. Riding a bike while drunk is lame. Wanting to walk down the street with my grandkids and expecting to not be ran over by a drunk is not lame. It is called having the right to not be injured or worse just so some asshole can be drunk and thinks him drinking and driving or riding is his right to do that, and he thinks his right to be drunk and ride his bike somehow trumps my right to not be damaged by his actions. Every thing in life is give and take. A drunk does not have the right to take anyones life by doing what ever he knows is wrong and if giving up a little time to catch those would be drunk drivers is the price for the right to walk with out being ran over by a drunk I for one am willing to give that time at a check point. I travel all over this country and have seen first hand just how many people go to motorcycle rallies and do things there they would never do at home. I have seen hundreds if not thousands of people drunk get on bikes and ride away at rallies. People seem to think just because they are at a motorcycle rally they can drink more than they would ever try to drink at home and because they want to be cool they do get on their bikes and ride away drunk and that does result in alot of people being hurt or killed and the bad thing is the drunk ussually lives while the innocent guy riding his bike is killed for no other reason than some people think they have the right to do as they please even if their actions result in the death of someone else. To me that way of thinking is flawed.

  25. 25 deadwood1783 Nov 23rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

    JMO. I could not possibly disagree with you more. However, I support the fact you can voice your opinion. ANY freedom lost is seldom regained. We should be careful about trading a false sense of security for liberty and freedom. I don’t want to be on the road with drunks any more than you do, but the fact is we will never be completely rid of drunk drivers, or thieves, or ” you pick the offense”. This kind of enforcement tactic is something I will always stand against, and since I had time to type this, I also had time to send messages to my elected representatives. I hope you and others who have voiced their opinions here will do likewise.

  26. 26 Moore Sensible Products Nov 23rd, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    @ jmo-

    You typed: “Now as for motorcycle only check points it is my understanding that these check points happen mostly at motorcycle events therefore you have a majority of people on bikes and not in cars in the are of those check points they are not set up to be motorcycle only and in fact cars that go through that area are also stopped. So the statement of motorcycle only stops is incorrect from the very start. ”

    Really? You really typed that? That right there ends the discussion. There’s no point in going any further. You have absolutely no clue as to what you’re typing about. None. Zero. You need to do a lot MORE reading and a lot LESS typing.

    Google “motorcycle only checkpoints” and learn a few things. Then Google “what states have motorcycle only checkpoints” and you’ll learn even more.

    Then follow the horribly long link below and you’ll find a letter from the AMA, urging the feds to put a stop to MOTORCYCLE ONLY checkpoints.

    Join the AMA and your local ABATE chapter. You’ll learn quite a bit about bullshit like this.

  27. 27 Moore Sensible Products Nov 23rd, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    My mistake. That particular letter from the AMA was to the governor of Georgia.

    I’m still stunned at how someone can argue so vehemently about something that they clearly know nothing about.

  28. 28 Moore Sensible Products Nov 24th, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Apparently the mods edited out the link. It was really long and likely “stretched the page” for a lot of folks.

    Anyone interested will be able to find it for themselves without much difficulty.

  29. 29 Levi, member American Legion Riders Nov 24th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    In response to ‘Just my opion” :
    As one of the plantiffs in this law suit let me say that you have broadened the topic way to far.
    It is not about airport security, not about DUI, not about tatoos, not about profiling and not
    about any monetary gains on our part. We filled the suit because our Constitutional Rights
    were violated, plain & simple. The 4th Amendent “Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures”
    without probable cause. Since ALL motorcycles were stopped & directed into a holding pen,
    with a 10ft high chain link fence, the police had no probable cause to think that each and
    everyone of these bikers has broken the law. The 1st Amendent “protects the right to assemble”.
    Since these roadblocks were setup near a know annaul biker event and ONLY bikers were
    stopped, the police were harrassing an assembly of bikers.
    The results we were after: Cease & desists the roadblocks, ENUF SAID…..Levi

  30. 30 Levi, member American Legion Riders Nov 24th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Oh, one more thing people: Why didnt you attach your name to your document ?

  31. 31 Jim Compton Nov 24th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Mike Greenwald,
    Sensenbrenner was also criticized by BOLT, BUT – who else can you think of who is writing any legislation that benefits bikers?
    Maybe we all need to follow Sputnik’s (God rest his soul) example and lobby for legislation & legislators favorable to bikers ourselves and skip the middlemen (political parties).
    The point, Mike, is at least Sensenbrenner is doing something FOR bikers and not against us.
    Who else in Washington is? The Motorcycle Caucus? La Hood? He came on as biker friendly (as evidenced by his posing with the MRF group at the start of his tenure) and now voices the belief/opinion that we all should be using bicycles as primary modes of transportation.
    Come on,

  32. 32 Mike Greenwald Nov 24th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Jim Compton,

    Writing any legislation is a disservie to our community and to our country. As such, my preference is that the government back off and leave us alone.

    I disagree emphatically that we need anything done for motorcycling or motorcyclists. We have tried various forms of government intercession, taxation and moderation by legislation law, enforcement, grant monies, and other manipulations or coercions. Pier pressures have been created by many to side with one or another faction in the motorcycle community. These efforts have only created loss of liberty, higher prices, greater scrutiny, more taxes and a victim/whore mentality. In spite of how much you tell me that it is raining, you are pissing on my leg.

    Additionally, the costs of motorcycling have only increased with any and all of this help. With all and any due respect to you or the governments that try to improve motorcyling through laws, legislation, rules and regulation, back off and leave us alone.


  33. 33 Jim Compton Nov 25th, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Mike Geenwald,
    So your solution is to do nothing?
    Federal & State legislatures will write laws governing every aspect of every activity Americans participate in. Should we, as motorcyclists/bikers NOT be involved in this process and merely allow these individuals to have free reign over our activities without our input?
    The aforementioned incident in Las Vegas is but one instance where bikers have used the legal process to voice their objections to an over bearing police campaign against one specific segment of the motorcycling community. Not all bikers ride BMW’s BUT all bikers should be treated equally and not judged on the particular vehicle they have selected as their preferred ride.
    As far as not having governmental interference in motorcycling issues. If not for Ronald Reagan’s tariff put into effect in the 80’s designed specifically to protect Harley-Davidson, those riding cruisers today would be doing so soley on japanese manufactured bikes.
    What of the efforts of Legislators in Washington state. Specifically senate bill 5242 signed by Governor Chris Gregoire (as reported on this very site on April 19, 2011) “that outlaws profiling of motorcyclists by state troopers and local law enforcement officers in Washington state”.
    The lone wolf biker is a romantic notion. Maybe in the past, it was a reality. Today, without the efforts of NCOM, ABATE, AMA, BOLT, etc. we would all be wearing helmets dressed in ATGATT as we ride our asian made 150 CC scooters (the engine size restriction made to protect us from ourselves) to our favorite watering hole.

  34. 34 Jim Compton Nov 25th, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Mike Greenwald
    From the Cyril Huze site dated April 19, 2011 – “Governor Chris Gregoire has signed Senate Bill 5242 that outlaws profiling of motorcyclists by state troopers and local law enforcement officers in Washington state.” How is this action in any way negative towards bikers?
    Ronald Reagan’s intervention in the 80″s in establishing a tariff on imported motorcycles saved Harley-Davidson from financial ruin. With out that action by the government it is a certainty that there would be no Harley-Davidson company in existence today.
    So we have only two options, work within/with the system or do nothing. If we chose to do nothing then we should not complain when our basic rights (as with motorcycle only checkpoints) are violated.

  35. 35 Jim Compton Nov 25th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Apologies for the double posting.
    The site did not show the initial post as having gone through.

  36. 36 Moore Sensible Products Nov 25th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Mike Greenwald & Jim Compton-

    As Delmer said, when asked to settle the dispute between Ulysses and Pete in the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, “Okay… I’m with you fellas.”

    Like Mike, I’d like to see much less government. I think most of us would, in just about all aspects of all things. Not all things, but most things. We must, after all, maintain some semblance of law and order. (Hell, I personally am thinking about lobbying Congress to appoint a battalion of Marines to accompany Just My Opinion and his grandchildren as they navigate the mean streets & perilous sidewalks of Anytown USA, besieged by drunkards, terrorists, illegal aliens, tattoo artists and whichever bogeyman he comes up with next).

    That being said, the final 2 lines of Jim’s last comment are in my opinion the most sensible thing written in the entire thread. (“So we have only two options, work within/with the system or do nothing. If we chose to do nothing then we should not complain when our basic rights (as with motorcycle only checkpoints) are violated.”) Well said, Jim.

    “The System” is what it is and it’s not going anywhere. What we make of it is up to us, those that support us, and those that we can convince to support us through education and example.

    Some people reading this blog might be a little newer to bikes. To those readers, I again urge you to look into the AMA and your local ABATE chapter. There’s a lot that you, as one individual, can do to help retain our rights, as impossible as that may sound. YOUR voice counts just as much as the next man’s. You’ll also meet up with some like-minded people, which usually isn’t a bad thing.

  37. 37 Mike Greenwald Nov 25th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Governing yourself and defending said governance may equate to doing nothing in the eyes of some or many. I am unable to judge what works for you.

    I know that most of the points previously stated assume a subservient to government position for motorcyclists. I am categorically and adamantly against making any concessions with any government about motorcycling.

    When it comes right down to it, the government is not the boss of me. If you, or anybody feel that you are able to concede my liberties to any “power” as a bargaining chip to gamble for your personal or collective betterment, you are wrong.


  38. 38 Roadkill Nov 26th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    +Motorcycle-only checkpoints remain an unconstitutional infringement upon an individual’s right to travel without interference, period.

    My vehicle is forced to endure an annual inspection, for which I post a visible proof sticker to traveling observance, and my helmet requires an observable sticker, and I don’t want to be forced to unnecessarily stop for 15 minutes extra travel time, wherever the f#ck I’m going.

    “I’m sorry I was late for Thanksgiving dinner, gramma, but I needed to be processed through a few safety gauntlets.”

    I neither need nor want an imposed delay.

    Stop me for cause on the damned highway. Don’t stop us all for no cause.

    Ride on.

  39. 39 vince Nov 28th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    so, let me get this straight. it is unconstitutional to check muslims at airports, although all the terrorists are muslims and you can’t tell an extremist from a non-extremist. but, it is totally constitutional to harass bikers, one small part of the population on the roads. i have got to re-up with ABATE. is this really American? because I’m feeling a lot like a comrade…if you get what i mean.

  40. 40 vince Nov 28th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Jim Compton.

    If HD could not produce a quality bike at a good price, they should have gone out of business. That is capitalism. Capitalism is where the people voice their opinions by how they spend their money. The idea is that competition for the market will give the consumer a better choice of product and help keep prices reasonable.

    obviously, if HD had to ask for government money and tariffs to stay in business, the people were not happy with the product they were offering for the price they were offering it. the American, capitalist, solution, would have been for HD to restructure and offer a better product at a better price.

    Protectionism, which is what tariffs are, is not good for the free market and not good for the consumer. As a result of the government’s protectionism, HDs are technologically far behind foreign brands and very expensive. Unfortunately, the practice of protectionism has been around since before the Civil War. it was, actually, the major cause of the Civil War. Protectionism is actually a government supported monopoly. Monopolies are illegal. However, if you look around, you will see them everywhere, as we keep moving towards socialism. The oil companies are just one example.

    Obama’s bailouts are another example, very similar to the government’s aid to HD back in those days. How is that working out for the American public?

    The government needs to back off and step out of all of our lives and let the country work like it was designed to.

    in keeping with the actual subject of this blog, If someone is driving drunk, and it is evident, the police have the right to pull them over. Otherwise, it’s an unconstitutional infringement of our rights.

  41. 41 Brad Dec 5th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Sure seems like profiling to me. So cops CAN’T stop Spanish speaking people that appear to be of Mexican origin to ask for identification or immigration status or proof of citizenship but they CAN stop a biker for no apparent reason, other that the vehicle they are riding?
    Seems like a lot of lawsuits waiting to happen.

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