The Second Circuit US Court of Appeals last week upheld the use of roadblocks designed to detain motorcyclists so they can be issued $85 tickets when wearing unapproved helmets. Some motorcyclists object to being forced by law to wear helmets they believe reduce their awareness of surroundings, with objectors turning to the use of "novelty" helmets as a form of protest. New York is one of only 19 states that currently require all riders to wear a DOT-approved helmet.
In 2007, the New York State Police began using federal taxpayer grant money to target these motorcyclists for the express purpose of generating citations. According to court documents, roadblocks for motorcycles would be set up with the stated objective "to detect motorcycle safety violations and ensure proper registration and operator compliance with New York State's motorcycle license requirements."