IDAHO ENACTS ANTI-PROFILING LAW, OHIO MOTORCYCLE ATTORNEY APPLAUDS PROGRESS
Idaho’s Republican Gov. Brad Little, on March 26, 2020, signed Senate Bill 1292 into law, making Idaho the fourth state to pass legislation to “provide that law enforcement shall not engage in motorcycle profiling.” Three other states have passed similar bills: Washington in 2011, Maryland in 2019, and Louisiana in 2019.
Motorcycle profiling is defined under S 1292 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.”
The bipartisan measure, pushed by Rep. Robert Anderst (R-Nampa) for the past three years, passed the Senate by a vote of 25-9 on Feb. 26 and by a margin of 38-29 in the House on March 18.
As they have for the past two years, motorcycling enthusiasts and members of motorcycle groups turned out in big numbers to testify in favor of the legislation, saying they’ve been profiled by law enforcement officers when they were abiding by all laws.
“This is not an anti-law enforcement bill,” Rep. Anderst told the legislature. Instead, he said the process has helped improve the relationship between law enforcement and law enforcement.
Ohio motorcycle attorney lawyer Ralph C. Buss, who primarily handles motorcycle injury cases, said he’s happy to see more states recognizing the problem motorcycle profiling has become for riders across the country.
“Of course, we’d like to see this kind of anti-profiling legislation be passed across the country,” the Ohio personal injury lawyer said. “But it’s progress. Perhaps other states will take the cue from these forward-thinking states and see the need for such a law in the near future.”
The U.S. Senate approved the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution, Senate Resolution 154, by unanimous consent on Dec. 11, 2018. It addresses concerns of riders nationwide regarding law enforcement discriminatorily profiling motorcyclists over mode of transportation or style of dress.