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11NR10 - MRF News Release - Georgia Department of Public Safety Announces Details of Motorcycle Only Roadside Checkpoints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04 March 2011

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

Georgia Department of Public Safety Announces Details of Motorcycle Only Roadside Checkpoints

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that the Georgia Department of Public Safety (GA DPS) has announced some of the details of the motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints. The details include some the reasoning, time frame and locations of the checkpoints. 

Lt. Colonel Mark McDonough, GA DPS Deputy Commissioner, explained that the reason for the checkpoints is the rise continued of motorcycle fatalities in the State of GA from 2005-2008. There were 167 motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2008.  

McDonough did acknowledge the State's education campaign in 2009, which focused solely on raising awareness of motorcyclists with all other road users. The campaign included safety presentations to school, church, civic groups and media outreach by State Troopers. The GA DPS credits the campaign with a 35 percent decrease in motorcyclists fatalities over the previous year. The Department called this historic decrease a "good first step". 

The next step, according to GA DPS, is the motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints.  

The first of these checkpoints will be conducted Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 from 8AM-5PM along Interstate 75 at the southbound commercial vehicle inspection station in Monroe County. During the same time frame an additional checkpoint will be established at the southbound commercial vehicle inspection station along I-95 in Chatham County, north of Savannah.  

The checkpoints will check for proper licensing, DOT helmets, alcohol usage, valid tags, as well the general operating condition of the motorcycle.  

Lt. Col. McDonough claims that for the average operator with the proper license and equipment the delay should take about one minute.  

Additional checkpoints will be conducted in the spring and fall of 2011. Checkpoints are funded into 2012 as well.  

In Other News 

U.S. House and Senate pass Highway Bill Extension.

One day after the House overwhelmingly passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011 by a final vote of 421 to 4, the Senate approved by voice vote today vital legislation to extend highway, transit and highway safety programs through September 30th. The measure now goes to the President's desk, where it is expected to be signed into law soon.

"With unemployment in the construction industry at an all-time high, it is imperative that we extend the surface transportation programs through the end of the fiscal year," said Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN).

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