Georgia Motorcyclists Ride on The Capitol To Protest Checkpoints

Over 300 motorcyclists roared into downtown Atlanta and surrounded the State Capitol Wednesday March 23, 2011 to protest the recent Georgia State Patrol motorcycle only checkpoints.

Using a $70,000 grant from the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration NHTSA, the State and local officers set up motorcycle only checkpoints on the two main interstates leading into Florida during Daytona’s spring Bike Week.

The checkpoints were located on I-95 and I-75 in the southbound truck weigh stations on Wednesday March 9th.

Newly elected ABATE State Director, Dan Forrest said he was pleased at the turnout and the diversity of the riders who joined the protest.

“(turnout)  was beyond expectations and I hope a sign of  unity in the biker community.”  Forest said.  ”We had several patch club members from urban riding groups and this was far from the normal group we have attracted in the past.”

Forrest said the speakers called on the State Patrol and the Governor’s office to focus on programs that will save lives and not just profile motorcyclists.  ”The central point of every speakers message was that money needs to be spent on EDUCATION of the driving public to make them aware of motorcycles. Use the media for public service announcements, bill boards, class room training for new drivers.” Forrest said.

Other speakers pointed out how the interstate checkpoints resembled police actions of  totalitarian regimes and not a free republic.

“The roadblocks are a violation of our rights and are a pure attempt at profiling. The Savannah stop had 17 GSP cars, 2 Sheriff’s cars, 1 DOT car, a van filming and photographing every biker and a helicopter. This sounds like a Border Crossing in a communist country and has nothing to do with safety.”

The State Patrol nor the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety did not respond to a request for a statement.  However, Patrol officers have indicated they will hold five more one day checkpoints throughout the year.

Forrest said ABATE of Georgia will continue to lobby against the checkpoints and added that under his leadership he hopes ABATE can become a voice for all motorcyclists and expand its mission to fight any and all legislation that unfairly targets motorcycle owners and riders.     “ABATE of Georgia has suffered through some very poor leadership over the past few years and has spent too much time and effort on the ‘Freedom of Choice ‘ bill or rather lack of it. We have been known as the helmet law people and  have been shunned by many riding groups because of that fact.”   He continued, “We have taken the first step in unity and we must continue to grow as one voice.”

 

 

Despite Checkpoints Motorcyclists Turn Out to Honor Slain Trooper

When it comes to showing their support, Georgia motorcyclists choose to put aside politics and just ride.

Close to a thousand motorcyclists turned out last weekend to honor slain Georgia State Patrol Trooper Chadwick LeCroy in the first Line of Duty ride in Atlanta.

O Gary Buffington of the Rough Neck Motorcycle Club told local television station Fox 5, ”This is absolutely phenomenal for us, we were hoping and praying for 300 to 500 bikes and from what we can tell we’ve got a little over 700 bikes here right now.”

Other motorcyclists attending said this ride wasn’t the proper place to voice their opposition to the State Patrol checkpoint  policy and that while they may disagree with the checkpoints, they were able to set that aside and ride to show their support for the slain trooper and donate to the Corporal Chad LeCroy Family Memorial Fund.

 

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Thumbs Nose at Congress and Discriminates Against Motorcycles

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned from a source at the US Department of Transportation

Troopers in Georgia to set up "motorcycle only checkpoints"

that they have funded the motorcycle only roadside checkpoints.

NHTSA decided to fund the program despite being asked by Congress not to fund the program until the merits were explained. In a letter sent by James Sensenbrenner, along with ten other Members of the House of Representatives last month, Sensenbrenner and his colleagues specifically asked NHTSA to respond to the letter before funding the program, they did not. Read the letter here.

The recipient of the money for the demo project was the Georgia Department of Public Safety, which oversees the day-to-day operation of the Georgia State Patrol.  The Georgia State Patrol will conduct a series of roadside motorcycle safety checks in accordance with what was outlined in the Request for Applications.  The amount of NHTSA funding is $70,000.00.

“Not only is this an injustice to the motorcyclists of America its a complete waste of taxpayer money.” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the MRF.

The MRF will keep you informed on this issue and any actions you can take to defend your freedoms, at stake in Washington.