Are Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints a Positive Step to Reduce Cobb County Motorcycle Accidents?


February 07, 2014

Few people would deny that motorcyclists face a higher accident risk and greater possibility of suffering permanent debilitating injuries than occupants of passenger vehicles. Motorcycles require a special skill set because of their unique handling features. When motorcycles accidents occur in Cobb County and the surrounding areas of Georgia, they typically result in more serious injuries particularly when riders are not wearing motorcycle helmets. Approximately 4,500 motorcyclists per year die in fatal motorcycle accidents. The disproportionate risk associated with motorcycle collisions has led to a contentious dispute in Washington D.C. over the use of "motorcycle-only checkpoints."

A provision inserted into a proposed House transportation bill would prohibit the Department of Transportation from providing funding to state or local governments for conducting motorcycle-only checkpoints. The controversy over these vehicle specific safety inspection roadblocks arises out of a grant made to Georgia for operating these motorcycle safety inspections. These motorcycle checkpoints are similar to vehicle safety checkpoints or DUI roadblocks. Law enforcement agents signal motorcyclist to stop, then safety inspections are conducted covering compliance with the mandatory helmet law, possession of a valid motorcycle drivers' license and the condition of the bike.

Critics of the checkpoints including those supposing the provision prohibiting federal funding for these motorcycle-only checkpoints argue that they represent intrusive overreaching by the government. Some also contend that it is unfair to design checkpoints that only apply to a certain type of motor vehicle. Those that oppose the motorcycle checkpoints also suggest that motorcycle safety should be based on crash prevention as opposed to arbitrary stops of random riders. Those who support the use of motorcycle safety roadblocks argue that singling out motorcycles is no different than seatbelt checkpoints where motorcycles are excluded from the obligation to stop and undergo inspection.

One strong justification for the motorcycle safety checkpoints is rooted in the fact that many motorcycle accidents are caused by inexperienced and unlicensed riders. The National Highway Safety Administration reports that 22 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents are caused by unlicensed riders while only twelve percent of fatal passenger vehicle accidents involve unlicensed drivers. Because a substantial portion of the motorcycle checkpoint tickets involve the violation of motorcycle helmet laws, groups that view mandatory helmet laws as an unreasonable intrusion on personal liberty also oppose motorcycle only checkpoints.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years Experience to Work For Your Accident Claim

Regardless of one's position on this issue, it is beyond dispute that many Georgia motorcycle riders are injured and killed annually in collisions with motorists who fail to pay attention or obey traffic safety laws. If you or someone you love is injured or the life of a loved one is lost in an Atlanta motorcycle accident, our experienced Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates work diligently to seek compensation for motorcycle enthusiasts who suffer serious injury because of the negligence of drivers of passenger vehicles.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For Your Case

If you or a family member is injured in a motorcycle accident in Cobb County or elsewhere throughout the surrounding areas of Georgia, you may have the right to financial compensation for your injuries. Montlick and Associates has been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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