On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 154 to help prevent the unfair profiling of motorcycle riders by law enforcement. This includes giving riders unwarranted extra attention as well as motorcycle-only police checkpoints.
My local bike nights have an excellent relationship with the police. One town officer even hangs out with us on his KLR while off-duty, and occasionally on-duty with his police Harley. Not all riders are as lucky, however. Leather-clad cruiser riders may get mistaken for members of 1 percent biker gangs, while sportbike riders of all kinds may be unfairly targeted for the actions of a few speeding, stunting hooligans. That's not to mention police checkpoints that specifically target motorcycles.
"In 2015, Congress wisely acted to ban federal highway funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints, recognizing that federal funds are better spent on promoting highway safety for all vehicles and drivers," said American Motorcyclist Association Vice President of Government Relations Wayne Allard. "Now, the Senate has taken a big step further to help end the discriminatory and ineffective practice of profiling motorcyclists."
Senate resolutions are not laws and do not legally obligate anyone to obey them. They are, however, a strong suggestion from the government branch that makes the laws about how they should be followed. According to AMA, half of all motorcyclists they surveyed believe that they have been unfairly targeted by law enforcement at some point. Instead, the AMA suggests that law enforcement takes measures to improve traffic safety for everyone on the road.
Not all cops hate bikers. Many police officers are riders themselves. There are always a few bad eggs in every bunch, though. Government and agency policies that specifically target riders aren't fair to the vast majority of us who respect and obey the law. Hopefully, this resolution will encourage law enforcement to reciprocate that respect.