|Federally Supported Discriminatory Biker Stops Grant:
In an effort to supposedly increase motorcycle safety and law enforcement's awareness and improving motorcycle safety, NHTSA will award up to five (5) demonstration grants to law enforcement agencies around the country to fund and conduct "safety" checkpoints specific to motorcycles similar to those conducted by the NY State Police in 2007 and 2008 in Dutchess County. Phone: (845) 677-7300.
The NHTSA program funding ranges between $70,000 to $350,000 per agency and was posted 7/13/10.
For a little background on the NY experience, in 2007, the NY State Police launched a pilot program for conducting motorcycle safety checkpoints to:
(1) educate law enforcement on motorcycle safety issues;
The NYSP expanded this program and conducted a series of motorcycle safety check points in 2008. An article discussing this program was published in Police Chief Magazine and can be found online at:
Checkpoints & Education: The NY Experience
Basically what is fully at risk here is our freedom to ride because of Federally funded discriminatory motorcycle checkpoint stops that don't require any probable cause other than riding a bike.
Here is the crux of the grant requirements (from grant pages 6 and 20):
Within thirty (30) months of the Cooperative Agreement award date, the Grantee shall conduct a minimum of three (3) motorcycle safety checkpoints each year for two (2) years within its jurisdiction under this Cooperative Agreement. The Grantee shall collect and maintain basic data for each motorcycle safety checkpoint it conducts, which shall include the approximate number of contacts made with motorcyclists per checkpoint, the approximate number and type of safety materials distributed to motorcyclists per checkpoint, and the number and type of citations issued per checkpoint...
The total 'not-to-exceed' amount of the Federal funding to be provided under this Cooperative Agreement is $350,000.
To read and download the NHTSA Grant program text and application:
Go to: http://www.grants.gov
The you can see the Synopsis, here with a link to the Full Announcement and Application PDFs but the NHTSA site may have updated ones in the future.
The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) has been working on the issue with the NYSP and the DOT and NHTSA for some time. I am told they are to issue a news alert soon, so if you are not on their list go their website to signup.
What can you do?
Write, Write, Write: Write the individuals below and also your state senators and representatives about the use of our tax dollars for grant programs that discriminate against motorcyclists that result in traffic stops without any probable cause simply because they are on a bike! LaHood and Metheke generally don't take calls, so writing seems your best approach, plus you'll have a written record and will hopefully get a response. Be sure to refer to the name of the grant and it's funding number listed above. For your senator(s) or representatives be sure to give them the instructions on how to obtain the Synopsis, Full Announcement and Application above.
Funding Opportunity Number: DTNH22-10-R-00386
Please spread the word...