Congress has introduced a resolution to combat the issue of motorcyclist profiling by law enforcement officers. House Resolution 255 is aimed at promoting awareness of motorcyclist profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling. The resolution also urges state law enforcement officials to include statement condemning motorcycle profiling in written law enforcement policies and training materials. The resolution was introduced on March 26 by Congressman Tim Walberg of Michigan and Congressman Michael C. Burgess of Texas, co-chairs of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus. The caucus aims to improve public knowledge of motorcycle issues and promote safety on the roadways.
When introducing the resolution, Representative Walberg stated, “making sure riders are free from profiling coincides with motorcyclists’ appreciation for our law enforcement community. I’m proud to work with Rep. Burgess on this effort to foster a greater understanding of the issue of motorcycle profiling and ensure our roads and highways are safe for all to enjoy.”
What is Motorcyclist Profiling?
Motorcyclist profiling by law enforcement is the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States. If police illegally stop and search a motorcyclist, any evidence that they collect is not admissible in court as proof of a crime.
Profiling is a growing concern among motorcyclists nationwide. Complaints surrounding motorcycle profiling have been cited in all 50 states. According to the resolution, the National Motorcycle Profiling Survey, conducted by the Motorcycle Profiling Project in 2016, found that approximately 50% of the motorcyclists surveyed felt that they had been illegally profiled by law enforcement at least once while riding.
What is Being Done to Stop Motorcyclist Profiling?
With ridership continuing to increase, state lawmakers are taking note of the multitude of nationwide protests organized to raise awareness and combat motorcycle profiling. Two states, Washington and Maryland, have passed laws addressing the issue. In 2011, Washington passed a law requiring the criminal justice training commission to address the problems related to motorcycle profiling in basic law enforcement training courses in conjunction with existing training regarding profiling. The resolution notes that since the law in Washington State was implemented, reported incidents of motorcycle profiling in the state have dropped by approximately 90 percent.
As of 2019, New Hampshire does not yet have a state law that specifically addresses motorcycle profiling. However, in 2011, state lawmakers made motorcycle-only checkpoints illegal.
Contact New Hampshire Motorcyclist Attorneys
If you feel you were illegally profiled by a law enforcement officer while riding a motorcycle in New Hampshire, Tenn And Tenn, P.A. can help. As motorcyclists ourselves, we understand the unique challenges that come with motorcycling and will fight to protect your constitutional rights against illegal profiling by police officers. Call us today at (603) 624-3700 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.