AMA Press Releases Rights

California Senate Adopts AMA-Supported Anti-Motorcyclist Profiling Resolution

The resolution urges law enforcement agencies to engage in efforts to end motorcyclist profiling

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2021) — The California Senate on July 12 adopted Senate Resolution 41 to promote increased public awareness on the issue of motorcyclist profiling.

The resolution, introduced by state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), encourages local and state law enforcement agencies to communicate with the motorcycle community and engage in efforts to end motorcyclist profiling, which is defined broadly as the arbitrary use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest or search a person or vehicle.

California’s resolution passed with a vote of 39-0 and urges law enforcement officials to include statements condemning motorcyclist profiling in written policies and training materials and to distribute those across law enforcement agencies.

The American Motorcyclist Association — after working in conjunction with ABATE of California, the California Motorcycle Anti-Profiling Coalition, Modified Motorcycle Association and Motorcycle Riders Foundation in support of this resolution — applauds California’s adoption of the resolution as it has long advocated for the rights of motorcyclists and their lifestyle. The AMA continues to diligently scrutinize government policies directed at motorcyclists, such as motorcycle-only checkpoints and law enforcement officers targeting motorcyclists solely because they are wearing motorcycle-related clothing.

“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,” said Nick Haris, Western States Representative for the American Motorcyclist Association. “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.”

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) Maryland (S.B. 233 in 2016), Louisiana (H.B. 141 in 2019) and Idaho (S. 1292 in 2020) 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, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Visit the AMA’s Action Center to learn about more legislative issues.