We are getting to the home-stretch in our campaign to petition the federal government to stop the funding of motorcycle-only checkpoints, so the question is: have YOU signed it yet (and shared it with your moto-loving friends)?

First implemented by the State of New York, inspection checkpoints that apply only to motorcycles have become a more common practice across the United States, and are an act of discrimination that is primarily due to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) funding of the practice through special grants.

Implemented under the guise of operating for the public’s safety, states like New York have been able to target motorcyclists at checkpoints for vehicle and passenger inspection, even when the motorcyclists have broken no apparent laws, with no similar checkpoints being setup for automobile drivers.

An alarming trend in the unfair application of the law, some states, like California, have been able to preemptively ban the practice through their legislative branches; however, other states like New York have continue using motorcycle-only checkpoints, with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently affirming motorcycle-only checkpoints as lawful in New York.

Over two years ago, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) urged NHTSA Administrator David Strickland to cease the NHTSA’s funding of motorcycle-only checkpoints. After denying the request, the NHTSA has continued to provide federal funds to state and local police programs for the specific use of these checkpoints (the NHTSA’s response is here).

While the issue will be delayed for years in the courts, there is something that we as motorcyclists can do now in order to enact change. You may have already heard of The White House’s “We the People” website, a site where citizens can petition the federal government for specific actions, and if enough people sign a petition, President Obama and his staff have to take the matter under consideration. Click here to sign the petition.

The petition to the Obama Administration reads as follows:

We petition the Obama Administration to cease the funding of motorcycle-only checkpoints through the NHTSA and other federal agencies.

State and local governments have begun to implement motorcycle-only checkpoints that unfairly target motorcyclists for inspection by law enforcement officers.

Many of these motorcycle-only checkpoints are funded by grants given by the federal government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This petition calls for the cessation of the NHTSA’s direct and indirect funding of the motorcycle-only checkpoints through its grants and other measures, and asks that the laws for vehicle conformity and passenger safety be applied equally to motorcycles and automobiles alike.

Follow this link to support the petition for the federal government to stop funding motorcycle-only checkpoints, and be sure to spread the word with your motorcycle friends and riding groups.

  • paulus – Thailand

    Even not being American this frustrates me.
    Good luck with your fight on this one.

  • anders eliasson

    Yes …


  • Westward

    I really don’t see what the fuss is all about, is this not the same state in the US that allows the authorities to stop and frisk minorities on a whim ?

    At least they are being consistant by singling out minorities (ie. Motorcyclist).

    When Americans are consistant about fighting and protecting their own freedoms, then the point would have more credibility and integrity. Otherwise it’s just a waste of grey matter…

    “First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist
    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist
    Then they came for the homosexuals
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a homosexual
    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew.”

    “Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me.”

    — Pastor Martin Niemöller

  • ZootCadillac

    I have not. I’m in the UK as you know. This is an incredible situation that should not exist. I wish you well with it.

  • “Even not being American this frustrates me.
    Good luck with your fight on this one.”

    Indeed. As a Canadian in Japan, I’m watching this closely. Profiling, in any of its guises, needs to be ended. We simply cannot have individuals targeted due to race, colour, creed or chosen mode of transport.

    @Westward: Thank you for such a perfect prose for the topic.

  • Tom


    Sadly, too many Americans are all talk when it comes to liberty. We’re even a Fascist empire that uses our military bases around the planet to project our power, and in the Middle East, to secure dwindling oil supplies and in Africa, to counter the growing Chinese oil investments and general presence there. Oh, some decry “No war for oil” while the tap away on their iPad and drink coffee from their plastic Starbucks cup. Conrad wrote about The Horror more than 100 years ago, but I just don’t see Americans really caring about it anymore. Anything to make them “safer” is fine by them.

  • Spamtasticus

    I have signed and conveyed. That said I also carry a couple of business cards with me at all times for DUI checkpoints that will work for these as well. “I would like to go on my way. I concent to no searches of my vehicle or my person. I do not wish to go to secondary. I waive no rights and do not wish to converse with you or any other officer without my attourney present. I will be on my way as soon as you tell me I am free to go.” In my car I just crack the windo a bit and slide out the card. When they get it I close the window. So they cant make up some crap about “smelling alchohol” or something else. I’m not saying you may not get some psycho steroid monkey that break your window and drag you to jail but I personally roll over and put my tail between my legs for no one.

  • Jorge

    I’m missing something here. Less than 5K signatures but AMA has 235K memebers? Why doesn’t the AMA banner this on their website? I’m in NC and never seen a stop just for bikes. If I did or was stopped I’d email our elected officials and get local bike shops involved. Get them to pool some coin and create a political action committee (PAC) and support someone who will represent our concerns. (If you run a PAC your email gets a quick answer.)

    I’m not trying to piss on your parade but Americans want change to happen because they signed some digital doc and then hope someone else does something about it? Not happening. Money talks, and I don’t know what the AMA does with $50 x 235K but it doesn’t seem too concerned with this issue. Maybe before anyone new joins or renews, putting pressure on the AMA to get much more involved is time better spent?

  • Matt

    “Even not being American this frustrates me.
    Good luck with your fight on this one.”

    Indeed. I’m a Mongolian, of Zimbabwean dissent, living in Pakistan, and this upsets me as well.