Motorcyclists are targets for law enforcement for many reasons, but sometimes simply the sight of a one’s gear is enough for LE’s to pull someone over. While they may never admit it publicly, the scenario happens enough that California Assembly member Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and Speaker Pro-Tem Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo) saw it fit to write a bill to end such practices, at least in California. Read about the progress of the bill below.
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Assembly Bill 2972 passed out of the Public Safety Committee on April 10 on a 5-2 vote and is now expected to be heard by the full Assembly on April 19.
The bill, A.B. 2972, introduced by California Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and co-authored by Speaker Pro-Tem Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo), would prohibit law enforcement officers from using “the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle or motorcycle club-related clothing as a factor, without any individualized suspicion of the particular person, in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle, with or without legal basis under the California Constitution or the United States Constitution.”
Now is the time to ask your representative to support A.B. 2972. To contact them use the Take Action link.
The AMA Board of Directors has previously adopted a position statement condemning the practice of motorcyclist profiling. It reads: The American Motorcyclist Association has long advocated for the rights of motorcyclists and the motorcycling lifestyle. The AMA, in diligently scrutinizing government policies directed at motorcyclists, is concerned over motorcyclist profiling. This includes motorcycle-only checkpoints and what is a predisposition in many cases of law enforcement officers targeting motorcyclists solely because they are wearing motorcycle-related clothing.
In the past few years, a number of efforts have been undertaken to address these issues. For example, the states of Washington (S.B. 5242 in 2011) and Maryland (S.B. 233 in 2016) have passed legislation specifically forbidding the profiling of motorcyclists, and other states are considering similar legislation. Additionally, California adopted Assembly Bill 1047 in 2012, specifically outlawing motorcycle-only checkpoints. Checkpoints are also restricted by state law or judicial action in: Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The AMA strongly condemns the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies and has long championed the undeniable fact that the vast majority of riders and enthusiasts are upstanding, law-abiding citizens. Motorcyclists and motorcycling enthusiasts represent the full range of Americans and should be judged on their specific behaviors and actions, not their chosen mode of transportation or association with others.