STOP JUDGING US!
AMERICAN MOTORCYCLISTS ASSOCIATION 'CONDEMNS PROFILING OF MOTORCYCLISTS'
Have you ever felt judged or discriminated against for being a biker? There's a lot of it going round, and, arguably, a fair amount is coming from authority figures. Legislation for motorcyclists is often quite different to that of car drivers. And whether right or wrong, it can make us feel targeted.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has scrutinised government policies that discriminate against riders. This includes the condemning of motorcycle-only checkpoints. It's also criticised those in authority who target individual road users just because they ride a motorcycle.
Motorcycle profiling is a big problem in the US. According to a 2016 study, over half the nation's 10 million motorcyclists had been unjustly stopped by police at least once while riding. 37% had been stopped more than once.
Currently, there is legislation against motorcyclist profiling in two of the 50 states. There is no such legislation in the UK, yet discrimination against riders exists here too, and in many forms.
Bikes were included in charging plans for the 2015 Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London. This is despite the fact they account for less than 1% nitrous oxide emissions and help to reduce congestion. An example where legislation refuses to acknowledge different vehicle types, regardless of their benefits. Treating them as the same, despite their differences.
Yet other legislation draws upon their differences and uses it as a means to make motorcycling less favourable. Take the complex testing laws, for example. One test at 17 and you can ride any car you want. Three practical tests by the age of 21, and you can ride an unrestricted bike. Legislation is inconsistent with regards to treating bikes the same as cars.
Likewise, law enforcement seems to treat motorcyclists more unfairly than it does car drivers. If not ourselves, then we all know of countless times others have complained of being pulled over for unwarranted reasons. Just because they were on a bike.
Then there are anti-bike petrol stations. 'Please remove your helmet before filling up'. Because flipping it isn't enough, though others can get away with wearing huge dark sunglasses and the like. And even in some extreme reported cases, 'we ask that you leave a deposit before filling up'.
At least in the UK we have the Motorcycle Action Group to fight our corner. Bringing injustices to light in its tireless campaign for riders' rights. But unless everyone in charge changes their views on motorcycling, the MAG is always going to face setbacks.
All we can do is keep riding on. Hope for the best and continue to show the respect and regard to others with which we ourselves wish to be treated.
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive updates and new posts straight to your in-box.