Are Motorcycle “Blockers” Legal?

Organizing a motorcycle ride takes a lot of time and effort. You have to coordinate stopping points, try to get a solid group rate at a hotel and do your best to keep the group together as much as possible. Motorcycle riders are a community, and a group ride is the best symbol of that community.

However, some methods used by motorcycle organizers brush up against the law. To keep the group together in business zones, one rider may act as the “blocker”: he or she blocks oncoming traffic at intersections in order to keep the group together. Some motorists have wondered how legal this practice is. According to Sgt. Daniel Larkin of Loudonville, NY, not very.

“It is not legal to block intersections to allow riders to stay together,” he told the Albany Times Union in response to a reader question. He said that while police may occasionally ticket a motorcycle blocker for breaking the law, this does not always happen since the blocker’s actions often result in a safer scenario.

“Sometimes it’s safer to block the road so people don’t get into the middle of a group of motorcyclists,” said Lenny Parker, who teaches a motorcycle safety course. He says that even though blocking is illegal, “sometimes it’s done to be safe. It’s not done to be obnoxious.”

The only time a blocker is legal is when a police officer performs the duties.

What do you think? Are blockers are preventing motorcycle accidents, or are they overstepping their bounds as citizens? Tune in Friday when we answer another frequently asked question about motorcycle law.

If you know someone who experienced injuries or death in a motorcycle accident, feel free to contact us at no charge.

The Metier Law Firm, LLCDenver accident attorneys

2 thoughts on “Are Motorcycle “Blockers” Legal?”

  1. First of all I would like to commend organizations that put forth the time and effort toward their cause. My only experience with this issue with a group of riders was passing through a small town one day on my way to the city. As the one traffic light in town turned red about six cars ahead, two “blockers” (didn’t know the term then) proceeded to park and dismount with palm of the hand drawn. For approximately the next ten to fifteen minutes, I watched the traffic light change a half dozen times while roughly 150 bikers rolled through while an endless line of vehicles waited. We finally proceeded on our way to find that the entire group turned into a gas bar/restaurant 500 yards from the block site. Was it that important that they remain together for 500 yards? Is their time more important than everyone else’s? Unfortunately I sensed more of an air of arrogance than appreciation. The only time I have a problem with a group of individuals that do their own thing is when they equate being different to being better than everyone else.

  2. For now, we still don’t have a solution to this problem. Unfortunately, getting attention for motorcycle issues can be difficult, but contacting your local representative in the state legislature, or talking to organizations like the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) can help start the process. This is an issue of safety that is important to our community, and speaking up about it is the best way to make the issue known. Thanks for the comment, Jason! If there’s a change in Colorado state law on this issue, we’ll try to post it on the blog and let everyone know.

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