Shaheen, Ayotte Support Bill to Protect Motorcycle Rider Rights

The senators said checkpoints that specifically target motorcycle operators is "discriminatory."

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) are among those fighting for a bipartisan amendment to a Senate bill that they say is critical to protecting motorcycle rider rights.

Both Shaheen and Ayotte cited the importance of the bill, while also referencing the 91st Laconia Motorcycle Week from June 14 to June 22 in New Hampshire.

The amendment seeks to prohibit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from issuing grants to states for motorcycle-only checkpoints for one year.

The checkpoints, aka the Motorcycle Law Enforcement Demonstration Program, was started in 2008 to fund state enforcement to conduct what Ayotte and Shaheen called "discriminatory" checkpoints where riders are specifically targeted by police to check whether their motorcycles meet state standards for noise, handlebar length, tire condition and other requirements.

"Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire is a perfect reminder of how important motorcycles are to our state’s identity and economy," Shaheen said in a press release. " These checkpoints unfairly discriminate against motorcyclists who already must comply with registration and inspection requirements like all motorists."

Ayotte, in the joint release, said, "With motorcyclists from across the region in New Hampshire this week for Laconia Motorcycle Week, we renew our opposition to the use of federal funds to pay for discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints. Motorcyclists shouldn’t be unfairly targeted just because they’re driving a motorcycle and not a car, and our amendment would protect their rights to abide by the same laws as other motor vehicles."

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) also co-sponsored the amendment.

Old Pizza June 20, 2014 at 06:36 AM
Yeah, loud pipes are nice - just like a loud, obnoxious drunk.
JimC June 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM
If a car's exhaust system put out as much noise as most of the motorcycles on Main St., it'd be tagged for faulty equipment. I don't think we need another federal involvement in ANYTHING, but I do want to see specific enforcement against the noisy bikers. ________________________________________________________ The NPD, if I remember correctly, has said that the noise enforcement equipment is too expensive, so maybe a few tickets for disturbing the peace would be appropriate here in Nashua and everywhere in the state where people are out and about and enjoying the peace and beauty. I'm SURE that if I walked up and down Main St. yelling at the top of my lungs there'd be a cop in my face in short order.
gupta Sinjay June 20, 2014 at 10:24 AM
We stop law abiding Americans at DUI checkpoints. We stop law abiding trucks at weigh stations. Now the Government wants to stop law abiding Americans for riding motorcycles. The only ones not getting stopped are illegal aliens. Both Ayotte and Shaheen voted for a pathway to citizenship for 20 million illegal aliens, allow 500,000 low skilled workers and 180,000 H1-B Visa workers. Maybe we should make them all ride motorcycles?
Michael S June 20, 2014 at 10:02 PM
I DO live here, and agree with Carol's & Pizza's comments. The same knuckleheads claiming that loud pipes are for safety ride around without helmets and no protective gear... I'd like to see the noise restrictions enforced more...
Liz Pierce June 21, 2014 at 07:10 AM
now, this is a high priority for Washington! NOT! think tea party movement. look it up, read about it, join the movement.


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