join the cool folks
and advertise on

california political news & opinion
california legislation > AB 1047

Microsoft Word version

Page 1

AB 1047 (Jeffries)
As Amended May 30, 2012
Majority vote

|ASSEMBLY: |55-5 |(January 17, |SENATE: |36-0 |(June 28, 2012) |
| | |2012) | | | |

Original Committee Reference: TRANS .

SUMMARY : Prohibits state and local law enforcement from
conducting motorcycle-only checkpoints.

The Senate amendments delete the prohibition on the use of
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant funds
for the establishment of motorcycle-only checkpoints and instead
prohibit the establishment of motorcycle-only checkpoints.


1)Authorizes a local jurisdiction to establish, by ordinance, on
highways under its jurisdiction, vehicle inspection and sobriety
checkpoints to check for violations related to the escape of
exhaust products and drivers who are under the influence of
drugs or alcohol.

2)Requires a driver of a motor vehicle to stop and submit to an
inspection at a checkpoint when signs are displayed requiring a

3)Authorizes a local jurisdiction to fund vehicle inspection and
sobriety checkpoints through fine proceeds.

AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY , this bill prohibited state and local
law enforcement from using NHTSA grant funds to implement
motorcycle-only checkpoints.


COMMENTS : By introducing this legislation, the author intends to
ensure that motorcycle-only checkpoints are prohibited in

AB 1047
Page 2

Motorcycle-only checkpoints, first established in New York State,
were developed in response to the NHTSA's comprehensive Motorcycle
Safety Plan that urged states and municipalities to address the
growing problem of increased motorcycle fatalities. New York
State Police (NYSP) conducted the first motorcycle-only checkpoint
in 2007 and additional checkpoints were established in 2008 using
NHTSA grant funds. Studies conducted after completion of the
motorcycle-only checkpoints in 2008 showed a dramatic increase in
the number of tickets issued for illegal helmet use and linked it
to a 17% decrease in motorcycle fatalities in the state in 2009.

In 2009, several motorcycle riders that were stopped at the
motorcycle-only checkpoints in New York sued the state claiming
that the main purpose of the checkpoints was to look for criminals
and that the practice was intrusive and unfair to riders (Wagner
et al. v. The County of Schenectady, et al.). A federal judge
dismissed the case in November 2011, rejecting the motorcyclists'
claims that their constitutional rights were violated by NYSP and
concluding that the checkpoints were enacted to promote motorcycle
safety and were effective in addressing this interest. In
addition to New York, both Georgia and Virginia now also conduct
motorcycle-only checkpoints using NHTSA grant monies.

In response to the growing use of motorcycle-only checkpoints,
motorcycle advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to ban the
practice. To date, New Hampshire and North Carolina have passed
laws banning the use of NHTSA grant funds for motorcycle-only
checkpoints. At the federal level, Wisconsin Congressmen Jim
Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Paul Ryan, and Sean Duffy have
introduced H.R. 904 that, if enacted, would prohibit the U.S.
Secretary of Transportation from providing funds to state and
local governments for the creation of motorcycle-only checkpoints.

Currently, California law only authorizes law enforcement to
conduct vehicle inspection and sobriety checkpoints. Pursuant to
this authority, a county board of supervisors may, by ordinance,
establish a combined vehicle inspection and sobriety checkpoint
program where vehicles are required to stop and submit to an
inspection by law enforcement officers.

The author contends that motorcycle-only checkpoints are being
conducted in California; however, the Assembly Transportation
Committee was unable to identify instances where motorcycle-only

AB 1047
Page 3

checkpoints have been carried out. The author cited an example of
a motorcycle-only checkpoint that occurred in Citrus Heights,
California; however, in this instance the local law enforcement
agency was conducting a targeted enforcement effort rather than a
motorcycle-only checkpoint.

Targeted enforcement efforts and checkpoints are often confused.
The distinguishing feature of a checkpoint is that drivers are
required to pull over and stop in a designated area when requested
to do so by law enforcement personnel. Once a vehicle has pulled
into the designated area, they are required to submit to an
inspection conducted by a law enforcement officer. Drivers are
notified that the checkpoint is in place by posted signs that
require drivers to pull over and stop. Drivers who fail to stop
may be cited.

Targeted enforcement programs, on the other hand, call for the
deployment of additional law enforcement officers in a given area
to look for and cite drivers for specific violations. An example
of a targeted enforcement effort would include the recent Click It
or Ticket campaign to increase compliance with seatbelt laws.
Examples of targeted enforcement efforts involving motorcyclists
include a six-month enforcement campaign by the California Highway
Patrol (CHP) to increase patrols on a 33-mile stretch of State
Route (SR) 74 near Temecula which focused on traffic violations
made by motorcyclists. An example of a targeted enforcement
program carried out by a local law enforcement agency includes
efforts by the Folsom Police Department aimed at reducing traffic
violations by motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers that have
led to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities in the
Folsom, California area. Targeted enforcement efforts such as
these are typically funded by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)
using NHTSA motorcycle safety grant funds. In addition to
increased enforcement, targeted enforcement programs can also
include public awareness media efforts designed to reduce the
overall incidence of specific violations.

Both CHP and local law enforcement entities indicate that they do
not conduct motorcycle-only checkpoints. OTS also confirmed that
no grant funds have been used to fund motorcycle-only checkpoints;
and, that despite the fact that other states have used this method
to increase compliance with existing laws; OTS does not have plans
to conduct motorcycle-only checkpoints in the future.

AB 1047
Page 4

Analysis Prepared by : Victoria Alvarez / TRANS. / (916)
319-2093 FN: 0004077