6/1/2008New York: Roadblock Targets Motorcycle Gathering
Police roadblocks target friendly touring motorcycle enthusiasts in New York state.
New York State Police are setting up roadblocks designed to trap attendees at a motorcycle trade show. Early arrivals to the Americade show were greeted by the first of many roadblocks on Friday. By the end of next week, more than than 50,000 touring motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to pass through the area for the event that officially begins tomorrow near Lake George.
"Americade is a gathering of friendly, fun-loving folks, for whom motorcycling is a social hobby, but not some form of rebellion," event organizers explained.
Police see the event as an opportunity to issue thousands of traffic citations. Friday's roadblock forced 123 participants traveling on the Adirondack Northway into a rest area near Exit 18 where they were searched. State troopers succeeded in issuing 48 tickets for the most minor of violations. Fifteen were for using helmets not approved by the state, nine for modified exhausts, four for not having a motorcycle endorsement and the remainder were for other minor infractions. Seven car owners caught up in the roadblock received tickets for choosing not to wear a seatbelt.
Even though the Americade event does not focus on high-performance sport bikes, police kept a helicopter hovering above the roadblock to "discourage" attendees from attempting to continue on their way without being subjected to a search. The roadblocks will continue through June 5.