Missouri legislature is currently considering a new bill that would withhold federal funds and grants to municipalities that engage in motorcycle only checkpoints. These checkpoints focus only on individuals on motorcycles and their passengers.
In support of his bill banning officers from stopping all motorcycles. Senator Kurt Schaefer states:
“They say they’re safety checkpoints but then they run full warrant searches and everything else on everyone they stop.” He indicates that these stops are a form of profiling and should be eliminated.
The House has approved a version of the bill as has the Senate. However, the same measure must pass both houses in order to become law. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Governer Jay Nixon have remained silent on this bill. Each version of the bill prohibits checkpoints based on vehicle type. However, they do exempt measures aimed at commercial vehicles.
Motorcycle only checkpoints first appeared in New York in 2007. Five states have since outlawed the practice: Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Illinois and California. They have not been frequently used in Missouri except near motorcycle rallies.
The House has also approved a separate bill repealing Missouri’s current helmet requirement for riders over 21.