There is a new bill going through the Arizona legislature that could grant police authority to stop someone who is wearing a “disguise” which has a very wide definition to ensure they aren’t doing anything illegal. In today’s episode Chuck explains this bill and why it could have a negative impact on everyone, but especially motorcycle riders.
I have another bill here that seems to have passed the house, to go to the State Senate. If it is passed as it is written, and the Governor signs it, we may have a problem.
Let me read this to you: “Unlawful Use of Personal Disguise”. Now the way this bill is written, or the law will be written if it is signed in this manner, if you’re wearing a full faced helmet and you are on a motorcycle, especially for guys who wear colors, or any kind of patches on your vest. Even if you’re a Hog member. You could conceivably be pulled over randomly because you have a disguise on. The disguise being the helmet.
The way the bill is written says this: “It is unlawful for a person to wear a disguise, whether partial or complete, to evade or escape discovery, recognition, or identification while participating in any of the following: a civil protest, the commission of any public offense, a political event, a public event. A Peace Officer may detain a person who is wearing a disguise to verify that person’s identity and to determine if that person has committed a public offense.”
That is so broad! That anybody who is wearing a full faced helmet or maybe a handkerchief over their face when it is cold out so you aren’t sucking in the cold air, or whatever. Something that covers your face. There are plenty of funny looking masks with skulls and all sorts of different things that people pull over their face to protect themselves from the cold, but beware. Under this legislation you could be pulled over by the police and they could possibly make up a reason for stopping you. Maybe a bank got robbed 400 miles away and the guy was on a motorcycle. Who knows.
But my point is, it is going to give the police a reason to pull you over and detain you. Ask for your license, ask you questions, and god knows where it might go from there. This could even be used for officers to make DUI stops. So please, I’m not telling anybody to not wear helmets. But I’m suggesting maybe that if this Bill were to pass, an open faced helmet, even though it isn’t as safe as a full faced helmet, might be the better choice. So that you aren’t out there with the possibility of getting pulled over and getting hassled.