Nanaimo RCMP have announced a crack down campaign on riders that is to go on for the entire riding season and they claim that it is no different than their crack down on cell phones - but is it really?

The BC Transportation Minister doesn't think so!

From the Times Columnist - Begin Quote "Blair Lekstrom, an avid motorcycle rider, took aim at the Nanaimo plan while announcing motorcycle safety awareness month at the legislature Thursday.
“I would think if they are pulling you over just because you’re on a motorcycle, that’s dead-wrong in my mind,” said Lekstrom.
“Two-thirds of … accidents where motorcycles are involved are caused by the driver of the vehicle.”
Nanaimo RCMP announced last week that motorcyclists can expect to be pulled over for brief inspections by police as part of a year-long enforcement campaign targeting motorcycle safety." End Quote
Later in the article, in response to Adele Tompkins of BCCOM - who says riders are being targeted more than ever and that this topic will come to the table, Solicitor General Shirley Bond, the province’s top cop said “I don’t want to comment on the strategy of the Nanaimo police department until I have a chance to talk to them about their rationale,” she said.

I urge all riders to get on board with groups that work hard to protect our Charter Rights (BCCOM and the OCC are two of the best known in this country), I urge all riders to join them and in provinces where there is no organized effort - I urge you to consider forming coalitions to focus on the obtainment of fair and ethical treatment of riders.
Rights groups, I urge you to get in touch with the gents in Washington State that were successful in having legislation introduced that protects riders from profiling. They are at the ready and willing to assist in putting together a thoughtful and well laid out lobbying plan.

I would like you all to thoughtfully consider the statements made in the article from the Times Colonist by Nanaimo RCMP Cpl. Gary O’Brien who said "The enforcement campaign is no different from frequent projects that focus on commercial vehicles, drinking and driving, or the use of cellphones while driving.“We never do random checks,” he said. Police want to check motorcycle licenses, helmets and noise issues on the bikes."  (Just an FYI - noise bylaw in Nanaimo is set at 91 DB.) 

The stops mentioned above by the officer involve 2 very different rationals - 
When the police services do check stops for drinking and driving - they stop EVERYONE regardless of the mode of transport. 

Being pulled over for the use of cell phones or speeding are specific to the individual and their conduct and other than for Fire, Police and Ambulance personnel, pertain to ALL DRIVERS.

The commercial vehicle stops are carried out for a number of reasons; Laws that govern load weights and types, the inspection of log books under laws that govern the amount of time a professional driver can be driving and when they must stop to rest. Safety of these vehicles that travel far more miles in a year than any other category of vehicles and by the very nature of the profession are governed by laws that enforce their inspection. 
(Not unlike the requirements of  professionals who fly as governed by specific laws that pertain to the profession and are uniqe to that profession)

When you truly look at this entire issue and the phraseology the officer uses -  I think you will see that our mode of transportation has made us a visible minority. The rationale used by the officer above, upon closer inspection, does not hold water, at least not in my humble opinion.
If the RCMP were to target only the Chinese community because of the stereo type image they have for being bad drivers, how long do you think it would take for that community to bring discrimination suits to the table?
If the RCMP were to target just the Black, Cadillac driving community because of the stereo type image that pimps have, how long do you think it would take that community to bring law suits forth?
The very reason the police services anywhere in the world are not allowed to target those communities is that behaviour, that mind set, is called profiling.

We may all generalize and joke about the behaviors that each of our ethnic backgrounds exhibit, but targeting any specific community for special unwarranted, negative attention from the police services is illegal - it IS discrimination and it is against our Charter Rights.

However, unless we riders push to protect our rights, we WILL continue to see this mentality of profiling continue against our community and our rights under the Charter will continue to be eroded.

We are all to be afforded the same protection under the law. We ARE a visible minority. What the police services are doing to our community is no different than if the decided that only people who drive red vehicles are to be stopped. It is a type of insanity, and an abuse of authority that is just plain ridiculous and wrong - so, how are we, when are we going to lobby for change?

We need to focus on what we want - we need to - in a united voice tell our politicians and law makers that profiling our community IS WRONG and needs to be governed by a law that prevents profiling.

The law that was passed in Washington State is based on the racial profiling law there.
The law that was written, recognizes motorcyclists as a visible minority and the way our Charter is written, we should be able to apply the same standards here in Canada as were set in Washington State.

So folks, gather the evidence, when you are stopped, if you are treated in a preferential way by the police services, if they stop you simply because you ride a motorcycle, if they stop you and ask about patches or tattoos - the police services are PROFILING YOU.
Here is the dictionary definition of profiling from Dictionary dot Com:


the use of specific characteristics, as race or age, to make generalizations about a person, as whether he or she may be engaged in illegal activity.

And from Merriam Webster:

Definition of PROFILING

: the act or process of extrapolating information about a person based on known traits or tendencies profiling>; specifically : the act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior profiling>

We are profiled ever day - there are consumer profiles, professional accomplishment profiles and medical profiles - non of these types of profiling inflicts a negative experience on the person/community being profiled, but when it comes to police services - the profiling tactics they use to determine who to stop, well too often the impact is negative and not only immoral but illegal.

It is illegal and immoral because of the demeanor and tactics that are used and the negative impacts of those tactics.

According to the Canadian Charter of Freedoms & Rights:
Under the heading of Fundamental freedoms:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

Under the Heading Legal Rights:
Search or seizure
8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. 

Detention or imprisonment
9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. 

Treatment or punishment
12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. 

Under the heading Equality Rights:
Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

If we are truly equal under the law then why are motorcyclists being held to different standards than other road users?

If we are truly equal under the law, then why are motorcyclists being singled out for deferential or special attention?

If we are truly protected under the Fundamental Freedoms - section 2, then why is our community constantly being denied our right to peaceful assembly or the right to association? (the photographing and profiling that takes place because certain members of our community wear the patches of clubs the police services deem to be a criminal element, the shutting down of community events due to the police services profiling of our community based on what they deem to be criminal or anti social behaviors by some members of the motorcycling community)

My stance on this subject always has been and always will be this:

The clothing you wear does not instantly make you a criminal, it is your individual choices and conduct that make you so. It is not the person who is standing beside you at a public event that makes you a criminal or makes you a person who condones  or supports criminal activity - it is YOUR actions as an individual that define you as a criminal. It is not the method of transportation by which you choose to travel that makes you a criminal or makes you deserving of "special" attention, again, it should be about your individual conduct and actions. 

I know I sound like a broken record, but as long as this issue keeps coming up in the main stream news - I will keep calling for unity with in our community and the lobbying  for the protection of our rights for our community.

I am no lawyer, but everything I read on this topic tells me that our community needs and deserves protection under Federal Law, just the same as any other visible minority.

What say you?

In Other News:

Motorcycle Groups in Australia are dismayed by the verdict of not guilty in the case of an officer pulling a u-turn made where a double solid line was present and consequently killing a rider.

In Port Dover Ontario, council has announced that Friday the 13th will NOT become a three day event.

In Kitchener Ontario, a rider was killed. According to witnesses, the rider was traveling at a high rate of speed.

On a lighter and much more pleasurable note my friends at RevZilla have announced their May Gear Giveaway Contest. This month you can qualify for the top prize of a REV'IT! Sand Jacket and pair of REV'IT! Sand Pants (a combined value of almost $800); two 2nd prize winners will again receive $50 gift cards. All you have to do is create your rider profile to qualify!  

Have you seen the REV'IT! Sand Gear? Watch the video that describes the prize for May

There are some incredible features to this gear so if you are in the market for new gear, why not check them out, enter their contest - you never know who is going to win and you can't win unless you enter!

And lastly, I want to remind you all of other highly pleasurable event  - Today IS International Female Ride Day - so if you are fortunate enough to be able to get out there and ride ladies - DO IT! (In my humble opinion, EVERYDAY is Female Ride Day but this special day is designated as OUR DAY so get out there and DO IT!) Check Out Vicki Gray's

Have a fabulous Friday and PLEASE - ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you!

Post a Comment

  1. I have no problem with cops doing random checks. Went thru a 'random check stop' last year. Biker ahead of me had no insurance. Biker behind me had no drivers license. The lady driving the mini van had neither. If they are checking for faulty gear-no problem. Last year in Sturgis, the first day of bike week, 3 people died due to bald tires coming apart. Salmon Arm Stomp 3 summers ago-17 bikers charged with impaired with a known check stop coming and going. I think we have to police ourselves first. My views only.

  2. I have no problem with safety checks as long as they are stopping all vehicles not just one type of vehicle.

    And I agree we need to police ourselves, but stopping only motorcycles is wrong - do they stop only mini vans or Ford Taurus's? NO.

    A check stop for impaired drivers sees ALL drivers coming through it stopped - I am fine with that but do not single out one type of vehicle and then ask about tattoos and patches on top of it - profiling is wrong.