ALERT: NC Motorcyclist Only Checkpoints

Stories about motorcyclist only checkpoints in NC have popped up from time to time in the past. Now, with an influx of federal funding for motorcycle safety programs delivered to the NC Governors Highway Safety Program (NC GHSP), it looks like motorcyclist only checkpoints may become more frequent and will not go away until we organize opposition to DEMAND and end to them.

According to a news article in the Jacksonville Daily News, a recent motorcyclist only checkpoint in Holly Ridge was the second statewide and part of a new initiative by the Governor's Highway Safety Program.

http://www.jdnews.com/articles/holly-68530-ridge-charges.html

For additional information about the battle to get rid of motorcyclist only checkpoints, please see http://boltusa.org/?q=forum/1

ACLU Complaint Filed

An ACLU complaint has been filed against the Holly Ridge Police Department and the NC Governors Highway Safety Program.

NC Motorcyclist Only Checkpoints

In addition to the complaint filed with the NC ACLU against the Holly Ridge PD and the NC GHSP, there has been a string of email correspondence which all who are concerned about the motorcyclist only checkpoints deserve to know about. That string is attached below, but let me update you on other goings on as well. Word is no longer being spread just by B.O.L.T. of NC and B.O.L.T. of SC. ABATE of SC is equally concerned and has spread the ALERT on at least two of their web sites. The director of ABATE of DE, Gary Hildebrandt, who is also a B.O.L.T. member has written emails. David Stilwell, B.O.L.T. member and ABATE of Nevada member has contacted the Holly Ridge Police Chief and written emails to the NC GHSP. Mike Hancock has found at least one legislator who is vehemently opposed (legislature is not in session, but some can be reached). Word has been spread about 15 minutes into the Wednesday nights Biker Lowdown Radio Show (the episode with special guest Lorenzo Lamas). The Jacksonville Daily News, in Jacksonville NC, has been very good about printing letters to the editor, and there are places to comment. Phil Horne from Sneads Ferry wrote a very good letter to the editor. To find the articles and letters, go to jdnews.com and search for the word checkpoints. jdnews contacted me about a future article they are writing on the subject.

Hang in there folks, and don't let the Governor, NC GHSP political appointees, law enforcement get away with this unanswered. I suspect there may be a slew of Calls to Action (CTA) associated with this in the future. However long they continue to have motorcyclist only checkpoints will be the amount of time we will fight this. We will ramp up our resistance to match their enforcement of this profiling and discrimination. Soon, I will announce a public conference call on this topic.

The following is my correspondence to date, to and from NC government officials about the recent motorcyclist only checkpoints (my full name, and email addresses of private individuals have been removed from this repost in order to cut down on spam):

From: jan
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 6:53 PM
To: Horner, Beth; dfweinstein@ncdot.gov; governor@ncmail.net; Governor Office
Cc: Sen. Neal Hunt; Rep. Marilyn Avila; Cyndi_Brown@freedomenc.com; info@ap.org; aclunc@nc.rr.com; internete-mail@ncleg.net
Subject: Re: NC Profiling and Discrimination - Motorcyclist Only Checkpoints

Message received.

This is far from being a public service to motorcyclists as you try to make it sound.

This is an enforcement operation by cops with guns and tasers who target motorcyclists for unconstitutional harassment, interruption of our right to travel unencumbered, detention, and illegal search and seizures. It is blatant discrimination. not against a racial minority but against a societal subculture. The fact that the NC legislative branch has a history of discrimination against motorcyclists does not make it acceptable for the executive branch to also discriminate. It only means that we do not yet have enough voter support to represent a reelection threat to a Governor (and political appointees) and incumbent legislators who do not abide by US Constitution Amendment 4 and 14. This will not go unchallenged.

When and where is the next motorcyclist only checkpoint?

(jan)
NC Resident

Horner, Beth wrote:

Dear (jan),

Thank you for your letter of concern about motorcycle checkpoints. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program does support and encourage impaired driving, seatbelt, and motorcycle checkpoints. The studies have shown that this method of traffic law enforcement is most effective in encouraging voluntary compliance with highway safety laws.

A motorcycle checkpoint is necessary to ensure compliance with the laws relating to motorcycle safety. It is not designed to discourage operation of motorcycles but to protect the driver and passenger. Motorcycles are more difficult to drive than four wheel vehicles. This fact is shown by the higher crash and fatality rates for motorcycles. The General Assembly has recognized this by mandating additional driver training and a motorcycle endorsement to legally operate one of these vehicles. In fact, the General Assembly recently enacted and the Governor signed into law new requirements for motorcycle learners permits to be effective January 1, 2001. See Senate Bill 64. In addition within the last two years, the General Assembly enacted new motorcycle helmet laws that require safer helmets be used by motorcycle drivers and passengers.

The use of checkpoints has been upheld by North Carolina courts. In the case of motorcycles, it is the only way to determine if the operator has the required drivers license endorsement. Also, many times it is impossible to determine if the helmet being worn complies with state law without obtaining a close look. These checkpoints are not intended merely to give tickets but as an opportunity to educate drivers on the requirements of the new helmet law.

The purpose of the checkpoint is to assure compliance with the law for the operation of this unique vehicle. Those persons in compliance are only stopped for a few moments and then allowed to proceed on their way. This seems like such a small sacrifice to make to help reduce injuries and fatalities of motorcycle riders. We hope that his letter has explained the need for the checkpoint program.

Sincerely,

David Weinstein

GHSP Director

________________________________

From: jan
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 3:29 PM
To: Weinstein, David F; governor@ncmail.net; Governor Office
Cc: Sen. Neal Hunt; Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net; Cyndi_Brown@freedomenc.com; info@ap.org; aclunc@nc.rr.com; internete-mail@ncleg.net
Subject: NC Profiling and Discrimination - Motorcyclist Only Checkpoints

To: Governor Beverly Perdue
To: David Weinstein, Director of the NC Governors Highway Safety Program (GHSP)
cc: my NCGA representatives in Senate 15 and House 40
cc: All NCGA members
cc: ACLU of North Carolina
cc: NC Justice Center
cc: Cyndi Brown, managing editor of Jacksonville Daily News
bcc: McGrath Law Firm
bcc: national B.O.L.T. members
bcc: Imre Sauter, AMA
bcc: Jeff Hennie, MRF
bcc: Randy Norris, CBA/ABATE
bcc: motorcyclists and motorcyclist media sources
bcc: AP and other media sources

Governor Perdue, this must receive your attention in order to call for an immediate end to profiling and discrimination. This afternoon, I called newly appointed NC GHSP Director David Weinstein about a new NC GHSP program that profiles and discriminates against motorcyclists at motorcyclist only checkpoints. He asked me to send the accompanying news article, and to expect him to respond within two weeks. The new program mentioned in this article must end immediately.

The idea of so many motorist checkpoints in a country which prides itself on liberty and has its roots in freedom is already extremely disturbing. Profiling motorcyclists by having discriminatory motorcycle only checkpoints is even more disturbing. The fact that the attached profiling event in the attached article took place in a military community, while many troops are deployed, supposedly protecting our "freedoms" is not only deplorable but hypocritical. During the last legislative session, the legislature introduced an anti-profiling bill which the ACLU supported, (and I believe the NAACP did also), that was described as needed in order to stop racial profiling, and saying "driving while black" is not a crime. I agree. Now, to see a new NC GHSP program that profiles "driving while a motorcyclist" by subjecting motorcyclists only to checkpoints should also be considered profiling, and discrimination.

Spend our money on fixing roads and bridges, and alleviating traffic congestion, rather than on increasing discrimination and profiling of a sub-category of people, creating more "criminals" and filling up the courts that are already overflowing!

NC Resident in Senate 15 and House 40

This article pertaining to a new GHSP program for motorcycle only checkpoints can be found on the internet at http://www.jdnews.com/articles/holly-68530-ridge-charges.html

Checkpoint in Holly Ridge net charges

Comments 5 | Recommend 0
October 08, 2009 5:30 AM

HOLLY RIDGE - Motorists racked up 19 charges during a motorcycle safety checkpoint Saturday afternoon in Holly Ridge.

The charges included one count of driving while impaired, five counts of improper display of license plate, four counts of non-compliant helmet, three counts no motorcycle endorsement, two counts of driving while license revoked, two counts of no driver's license, one count of no insurance and one count of revoked tags.

The Jacksonville Police Department Traffic Unit assisted the Holly Ridge Police Department with the checkpoint, which was the second statewide and part of a new initiative by the Governor's Highway Safety Program.

Onslow County is ranked No. 1 in the state with the number of motor vehicle crashes that involve motorcycle fatalities, said Holly Ridge Police Sgt. Keith Whaley.

B.O.L.T. Liberty Call-In Hour: CHECKPOINTS

The next B.O.L.T. Liberty Call-In Hour is a conference call on the topic of

CHECKPOINTS: COMING SOON TO A POLICE STATE NEAR YOU.

scheduled for Tuesday, 10/27/2009 at 9:00 pm EDT.
There are no baseball playoffs or football games happening at that time, so please join in!

All are invited to forward this to others, call in and participate, introduce yourself or your organization and where you are located, and what your thoughts are in regards to checkpoints and the motorcyclist only checkpoints we recently see ramping up in different areas of the country.

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/66775

If you are able to call, but can only stay on the phone for a few minutes due to the cost of long distance phone calls, post a message in the chatroom to let me know and I will try to give you the "podium" for a few minutes.

Using a Landline
1. Dial 1 (724) 444-7444
2. Enter the Call ID 66775 & #
3. Enter your PIN & # (Registered User) or 1 # (Anonymous) -- Guests have an automatic generated PIN when the join in the Web Client - Look at the bottom of the Client and it will show you the PIN that a Guest Can use to dial in.

Using a VoIP Client
1. Dial 123@66.212.134.192
2. Enter the Call ID 66775 & #
3. Enter your PIN & # (Registered User) or 1 # (Anonymous) -- Guests have an automatic generated PIN when the join in the Web Client - Look at the bottom of the Client and it will show you the PIN that a Guest Can use to dial in.

Suggestion:
In preparation, you might want to Sign Up to become a registered user and get a pin #. You might also want to check to see if your computer speakers are working by listening to one of the other public call-ins at talkshoe.

Tip:
If you are phoning in, use the speaker on your telephone. If you are not phoning in, you can just listen in using your headphones or computer speakers, and use the chat function.

This is a matter of such importance that I suspect we might also have an update Wednesday evening on the BIKER LOWDOWN RADIO SHOW hosted by LJ James and co-hosted by Chuck.

jan

NC Motorcycle Only Roadblock battle might be ending.

An email titled "NC H381 Checking Station Pattern", just now received from Phil, says, "Sent to the governor. Prohibits LE from basing checkpoints on vehicle type. If signed into law no more MC only checkpoints in NC! woohoo!"

Comments from jan:

That's great! This is the kind of preventative measure other states could also use. It passed both chambers with unanimous approval.

Here's a link to the legislative verbage.
http://ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/HTML/H381v3.html

Putting a kabosh on roadblocks which single out motorcycles for subjugation and harassment would not have happened if BOLT didn't kickstart things by making such a humongous stink about the Holly Ridge motorcycle only roadblocks on the weekend of the Myrtle Beach Fall Rally in 2009, and then kept at it.

References:
http://boltusa.org/node/50
http://www.jdnews.com/articles/motorcycle-69181-checkpoint-ridge.html
http://www.jdnews.com/articles/holly-68530-ridge-charges.html
http://www.jdnews.com/opinion/justify-68809-checkpoint-text.html
http://www.jdnews.com/opinion/span-69684-align-style.html

Blind copies of this message have been sent to:
BOLT National
NYFR Bill, Karen
NCUBA J.Purty
AMA Imre
MRF Hardtail, Jeff
USD Paul
COIR Suds

Now you know it can be done as preventative legislation, so do it in other states. Discrimination sucks, as does all other LE violations of your 4th and 14th protections. Don't let them get away with it!

jan