Lawmakers back ban on funding for motorcycle-only
want focus on motorcycle crash prevention
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Federal lawmakers have sent a bipartisan
letter to the leadership of a key U.S. House committee to urge
support for a bill that prohibits federal funding for
motorcycle-only traffic checkpoints, the American Motorcyclist
Association (AMA) reports.
The lawmakers are also urging support for a measure to retain a ban
on lobbying at the state level by a federal traffic safety agency.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and his colleagues sent the letter
on May 25 to the House Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure as well as to the panel's Subcommittee on Highways
The letter asks the panels to include H.R. 904 and H.Res. 239 in the
surface transportation reauthorization bill now being considered by
H.R. 904 would prohibit the U.S. Transportation secretary from
providing grants or any funds to a state or local government to be
used for programs to check helmet usage or to create motorcycle-only
H.Res. 239 would support efforts to retain a ban on the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) ability to lobby
state legislators using federal tax dollars and urges the agency to
focus on motorcycle crash prevention and rider education and
"These important pieces of legislation would ensure that the
Department of Transportation (DOT) and NHTSA focus on proven methods
of motorcycle safety," the letter said. "NHTSA's Motorcycle Law
Enforcement Demonstration Program has not proven to be an effective
use of taxpayer dollars.
"Through this program, the state of Georgia was provided a $70,000
grant to create motorcycle-only checkpoints to inspect rider
compliance with DOT-compliant helmet regulations," the letter said.
"The checkpoints are not a proven method of ensuring motorcyclist
safety, and have certainly not been an effective use of limited
federal taxpayer dollars.
"We take motorcycle safety seriously and want NHTSA to focus its
safety efforts on proven lifesaving methods," the letter said.
"Including H.R. 904 and H.Res. 239 in the surface transportation
reauthorization bill would set the record straight, that the House
of Representatives supports rider education, driver awareness,
training and proper licensing as the best methods of preventing
motorcycle crashes, not mandatory federal helmet laws."
In addition to Sensenbrenner, others who signed the letter include
Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Reid Ribble (R-Wis.),
Ron Paul (R-Texas), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.),
Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Aaron Schock
(R-Ill.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Mike Ross
CLICK HERE to read the letter.