Friday, April 6, 2012

Another Small Victory

On February 28th, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law H.B. 187. The new law prohibits law enforcement agencies from establishing checkpoints where the only vehicles subjected to inspection are motorcycles. I have spoken on the topic before of our personal liberties being chiseled away bit by bit. Imperceptibly, one by one, laws are being enacted that restrict our liberties, so it’s with interest that I read this article recently in the motorcycle news feeds. One by one the ways in which we unwittingly relinquish our freedoms should be enumerated, and awareness raised in the small victories measured against it.

I want to stress here that I am not against pulling people over and ticketing them when clear violations are evident. Cars, trucks and motorcycles should all be in good running order with valid inspection stickers. People should not take to the roads under the influence and put the lives of innocent people at risk. Targeting groups of any kind without cause however, should be guarded against.

The impetus for the measure that introduced the bill in the Virginia house, came after The Arlington County Police Department set up a motorcycle only checkpoint during the Rolling Thunder ride on May 28, 2011. Motorcyclist who participate in this event, ride to Washington DC every year during Memorial Day weekend to bring awareness to prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) issues. Indeed, it is the very veterans of past wars who are riding so that their fellow servicemen will not be forgotten. Paradoxically the very people who represent freedom preservation are those who are violated against.

I am happy to say that New Hampshire along with one other State, North Carolina, have similar laws on the books. And while the checkpoint was defended as looking for safety violations, the motorcyclist were pulled over in groups and corralled, despite their safety inspection stickers prominently displayed. Communities would be better served if funds were spent on motorcycle rider training and safety along with driver (vehicle operator) awareness programs. Considering that approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile this last seems equally as important as motorcycle training.

1 comment:

Trobairitz said...

That is a victory!

I am all for checkpoints as long as they stop every kind of vehicle. Motorcycle specific checkpoints are just wrong and should be illegal.