Checkpoint Alerts

Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints (“MOCs”) are conducted throughout New York State.  Police officers halt traffic at busy intersections, enter traffic on foot, and direct all motorcycles and scooters into a barricaded lane or shoulder. Riders are asked for paperwork while officers look for equipment violations. Untrained eyes and eagerness to meet ticket writing expectations often result in undeserved tickets, and innocent riders are stuck fighting the charges in court.

The NYMSTF asserts that the motorcycle -only “safety” checkpoints being carried out by New York’s police are illegal, unconstitutional, have little bearing on our safety and actually endanger motorcycle riders as well as the police officers engaged in these checkpoints.  Choosing to use a flexible, efficient mode of transportation is not probable cause or reasonable suspicion of anything but good intentions.

Report Checkpoints when you See Them:

If you discover a police checkpoint pulling over only or mostly motorcyclists, please send an SMS (cellphone or smartphone) text message to the NYMSTF at 347-410-6783.  (Save this number to your phone’s contacts as “Checkpoints” right now!)  Make the first word of your message CHECKPOINT, followed by a very brief description (130 characters or fewer if possible) of the checkpoint’s location.  Your text will be published to our Checkpoint RSS/XML feed, our Twitter account and to our text message subscribers within 5 minutes, maximum.

Do not send test messages!  If you need help subscribing or using this system, please call or email us.

An good example of a checkpoint text message would be:

Checkpoint at Williamsburg Bridge w/b on Manhattan side, tons of bikes on flatbeds

No need for lots of details or unnecessary punctuation.  Keep it short and sweet!

Receive Checkpoint Alerts

Receive alerts about motorcycle and scooter checkpoints to avoid traffic delays and unnecessary hassles. There are three ways to receive alerts.  The most flexible method is to follow @nymstf on Twitter. (This requires a Twitter account).  Then enable mobile notifications in your Twitter account settings to get text messages on your cellphone from our checkpoint alerts.

At the top right of the home screen, click the silhouette and then “settings.” On the left select “mobile”, be sure your cell phone number is entered, and check “Tweets from people you’ve enabled for mobile notifications.”

On your list of people you’re following, click the silhouette next to NYMSTF and select “turn on mobile notifications.”

You may subscribe to SMS text message alerts right to your phone by sending us a text message in the following (example!!!) format:

SUBSCRIBE CAS 7185551234@smsgateway.com

Don’t use the phone’s or tablet’s [Enter] or [Return] keys before, in the middle of or after that text.  If the text wraps by itself on a small phone display, don’t worry.  Just check what you entered and hit the [Send] key.

The number after “CAS” is your phone number, no dashes or anything please.

The italicized part after “CAS” that looks like part of an email address needs to be your phone carrier’s SMS Gateway domain.  Do NOT use “smsgateway.com” from the example!  It’s only an example.  The correct domain depends on your phone carrier.  The most common ones with our current subscribers are:

Verizon         vtext.com
AT&T            txt.att.net
Sprint            messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile        tmomail.net
MetroPCS     mymetropcs.com

Check the SMS Gateway domain list or check with your cellular carrier if you don’t see yours listed above.  *Our service is not compatible with Google Voice numbers!

So for example if you’re a T-Mobile cellular service subscriber and your telephone number is (347) 555-6969, you would subscribe to the alerts by texting us with:

SUBSCRIBE CAS 3475556969@tmomail.net

Make sure your device’s auto-correct doesn’t change anything before you send it.

If successful you should receive two text responses within about five minutes.  One indicates your subscription text was received and being processed.  The other verifies to you that your subscription will actually work as submitted.

A few other things

If you are changing your phone number, or if you no longer wish to receive alerts this way simply text us with “UNSUBSCRIBE CAS”.  You may re-subscribe from your new phone number at your convenience.  If you change cell service carriers and keep your number, just send another SUBSCRIBE text using the above instructions and your existing subscription will be updated with the new SMS gateway information.

If you wish to check to see if you are currently subscribed, simply text us with “QUERY CAS”.  Within a few minutes you’ll receive a text reply about your subscription status.  If you have an active subscription, you should receive two text replies.  If you don’t receive a second text you probably need to update your subscribed SMS gateway domain or contact us for help.

You may also choose to subscribe to our Checkpoint RSS feed which is useful if you use RSS tools on your computer or better yet, your smartphone.

What Happens Next?

Please see the Checkpoint Alert System FAQ for questions and answers about this service.  The alerts you send will help us find, track and audit these checkpoints.  Thanks for helping!  All reports are kept confidential!

If you become caught up in any checkpoint and believe you experienced unjust discriminatory treatment from law enforcement merely because you are a motorcyclist, please report it using our Law Enforcement Discrimination Complaint form, and if this occurs in NYC complain to the CCRB (Civilian Complaint Review Board).  The CCRB is the civilian -facing branch of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.  If you believe the checkpoint is being conducted in an unsafe manner in NYC, call 311 to file a complaint.

For our perspective on the motorcycle-only checkpoints and how they came to be, read our article: All About Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints.

This free* service is not meant to facilitate circumvention of any laws, ordinances or regulations.  It is designed to allow New York’s motorcyclists to travel free of unwarranted harassment.  Motorcyclists are entitled to know about and avoid the invasive delays and in many cases, risks to life and property resulting from being stopped without probable cause on busy roadways, by officers whose knowledge of the relevant laws and regulations is – in our opinion – often superficial at best.  We remind all motorcycle and scooter riders to ride safely and legally.