Everyone Has a Responsibility to Keep Motorcyclists Safe

June 9, 2014
Be sure to look out for motorcycles.

Be sure to look out for motorcycles.

OLYMPIA—Summer is here and the Department of Licensing, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, and the Department of Transportation are reminding drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcycle riders.

 
To raise awareness about tragic but preventable motorcycle crashes, 17 large road signs are scheduled to be installed this summer in locations across Washington where fatal motorcycle crashes are highest. These signs should remain in place for 10 to 15 years.
 
“Increasing safe motorcycle riding and cooperation among all road users is essential to reaching Washington’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030,” Governor Jay Inslee said. “Motorists and motorcyclists are all responsible for making sure everyone arrives home safely.”
 
In Washington, motorcycle deaths are not steadily declining like overall traffic deaths. Motorcycles make up just 4 percent of the registered vehicles on our roads, but account for almost 15 percent of the traffic fatalities (2009-2011 average). Even worse, in 2012, motorcycle fatalities accounted for 19 percent (83 out of 438) of the total traffic fatalities in our state.
 
On a per-vehicle-mile basis, motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars, and five times more likely to be injured. Speeding, running off the road, and riding under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are the main contributing factors in these crashes. Motorcyclists should always ride sober and within the posted speed limits, get the required training and endorsement, and wear DOT compliant helmets and protective gear.

Governor Inslee joins others governors in proclaiming May as Motorcycle Awareness Month

May 8, 2014

Motorcycle-Awareness-Month-procIn 2013, 73 motorcycle riders in our state were killed in collisions.

Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation making May our state’s Motorcycle Awareness Month is designed to:

  • promote caution and recognition of motorcycles on Washington roads and highways.
  • reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities associated for all motor vehicles.
  • encourage riders to participate in rider education programs.

As motorcycles are smaller and less visible than most other vehicles, they can be more difficult to see. Reducing distracted diving and eliminating impaired driving will help operators see motorcyclists and give them the space they need.

Your Washington Motorcycle Safety Program encourages all vehicle operators to follow the rules of the road including obeying speed limits, following distance, signaling intentions, and yielding the right-of-way.

With spring turning to summer, the number of motorcyclists on our roads will be increasing.

Washington riders are our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.

A moment more of attention could help save a rider’s life.  That rider could be a family member or friend.

Look Twice – Save A Life.


State begins rolling out six-year driver licenses on February 10

February 6, 2014
WA DOL

WA DOL

Beginning February 10, all new driver license applicants will receive a license that’s valid for six years, as the Department of Licensing starts transitioning from a five-year to a six-year driver license.

New driver license applicants include individuals applying for their first license and those who are transferring their licenses from another state.

The per-year cost for a driver license will remain at $9 per year, but new applicants will pay for the additional year, which changes the fee from $45 to $54, not including the $35 application fee.

Adding a new motorcycle endorsement for up to six years will cost $2 per year.

Washingtonians who are obtaining their first Washington state ID cards will also be issued a card valid for six years beginning on February 10, at a cost of $54, or $9 per year.

Those renewing a current Washington driver licenses or ID cards will start transitioning to a six-year renewal period later this year.

In 2012, the Washington State Legislature authorized extending driver’s license terms from five to six years to improve customer service by reducing customer volumes and wait times in driver license offices.


Survey indicates DOL customers are satisfied with service

February 3, 2014

In September 2010, DOL introduced its staff in our licensing services offices to a new customer service promise: “We will be friendly and helpful — every time.”

As part of a recent customer survey–mailed to recent customers in October 2013–we asked if their experience during their recent transaction reflected this promise.

Overall, 82-percent of survey respondents indicated yes, our staff was both friendly and helpful. Another 15-percent indicated staff was either friendly or helpful, and only 3-percent indicated staff was neither friendly nor helpful.

This level of satisfaction was echoed in other aspects of the survey. Overall, we learned 83-percent said they were satisfied to very satisfied with their DOL service and 57-percent of customers indicated DOL’s service has improved.

Results of the recent survey appear in the chart below.

survery-1


New licensing requirements starting for scrap metal businesses

November 25, 2013
New licensing requirements starting for scrap metal businesses

New licensing requirements starting for scrap metal businesses

Scrap metal businesses in Washington will need to be licensed with the Department of Licensing beginning January 2014. However, businesses will not be able to apply for these licenses until January 2nd when the license applications are available.

The Department will reach out to law enforcement agencies to make sure they are aware of this delay, and are not citing businesses for unlicensed activity.

Even though licenses will not be immediately available, the remainder of the new laws and rules regarding scrap metal must be complied with.

The Legislature passed House Bill 1552 last session, with the intent of reducing scrap metal theft by requiring the licensing of scrap metal businesses, and establishing new requirements for scrap metal transactions and record keeping.

DOL will have the applications available sometime on January 2, 2014, so please check our website regularly for updates. If you have a question about who needs a license, the licensing process, or any other questions regarding the licensing of scrap metal business, please see our website at: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/scrapmetal/.


Commercial drivers must self-certify their driver status before Jan. 30 deadline

November 4, 2013
DOL photo

DOL photo

The Department of Licensing recently sent notifications by mail to about 60,000 individuals with commercial driver licenses to let them know the deadline is approaching to complete and submit the required form to self-certify the type of commercial driving they do.

All CDL holders are required to submit a self-certification form to DOL before January 30, 2014. Failure to do so will result in losing their CDL and the driver will be required to get a driver license without the CDL endorsement.  A self-certification form can be completed by visiting any DOL driver licensing office.

This self-certification is required to help ensure state and federal transportation agencies know who is required to keep current medical certificates on file with DOL. This includes all CDL holders who drive commercial vehicles in connection with interstate commerce.

Drivers that operate entirely within Washington state and don’t drive in connection with interstate commerce (intrastate drivers) are still required to self-certify, but are not required to keep their medical certificates on file with DOL.

DOL began notifying commercial drivers about this requirement in 2011. More information is available on the Department of Licensing website.

As of October 5, 2013, there are 194,743 individuals with CDL endorsements on their driver license. These endorsements break down as follows:

  • Class A:  137,681
  • Class B:  52,883
  • Class C:  4,179


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