A new law will go into effect in Virginia on July 1 that will prohibit motorcycle-only checkpoints in the state. According to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), the law should be considered a victory for motorcyclists.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed the bill into law on February 28, prohibiting law enforcement agencies from establishing checkpoints where the only vehicles subject to inspection are motorcycles. The law is similar to ones recently signed in New Hampshire and North Carolina.
The law was created in part due to a motorcycle-only checkpoint the Arlington County Police Department set up during the Rolling Thunder ride in May 2011. The ride was meant to bring awareness to prisoner of war/missing in action issues, and many riders at the event felt that police were unfairly targeting them with the checkpoint.
“Officials say they set up these motorcycle-only checkpoints to pull over motorcyclists to check for safety violations,” said Rick Podliska, a Virginia resident and AMA deputy director of government relations. “But if officials are really concerned about motorcyclists’ safety, then they need to stop discriminating against us with these checkpoints and start supporting programs that prevent motorcycle crashes, such as rider safety training and driver awareness programs.”
The AMA has been fighting motorcycle-only checkpoints since they first appeared in New York several years ago. Checkpoints that only target motorcyclists certainly seem to be unfair, and we hope more states adopt similar laws.
The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver accident lawyers