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.


New rest area signs help promote motorcycle safety

July 16, 2013

VIDEO

New sign at Maytown rest area

New sign going in at Maytown rest area on May 29th.

New signs aimed at making our roads safer for motorcycles now appear at two rest areas along the busy Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Portland.

The signs carry two motorcycle-related safety messages. The top half reads “Look Twice – Save a Life, Watch for Motorcycles.”

The message on the lower half of the sign is directed at motorcyclists, “Ride Safe, Ride Sober, Ride Endorsed.”

The state’s Department of Transportation installed the signs on May 29th at the Maytown and Scatter Creek rest areas south of Olympia.

The signs were paid for with federal motorcycle safety grant funds.

This project was created through a partnership between the state’s Department of Licensing, Traffic Safety Commission, State Patrol and DOT.

The signs are featured in a new video produced by the DOL.


DOL working to raise awareness of motorcycles

May 24, 2012



OLYMPIA—As temperatures rise across our state this season, the Department of Licensing (DOL) would like to remind drivers to watch out for an increasing number of motorcycles on our streets and highways.Riders can be difficult to see on busy roads because of their smaller size and profile. Motorists should take an extra second to be aware of what’s around them. An extra look could save a life.

DOL will continue the agency’s “Look Twice, Save a Life” public information campaign this summer to work on increasing motorist awareness of motorcycles.

Since 2008, the number of other drivers failing to yield the right of way to motorcyclists has dropped by approximately 20 percent, according to collision data compiled by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month and called on motorcyclists and drivers alike to work on improving motorcycle safety this year.

The top three rider-causes of motorcycle crashes are alcohol or drug impairment, improper lane position and speeding. To legally operate a motorcycle on Washington roads, riders must have a driver license endorsement—or they could see their bike impounded even after a simple traffic stop.

DOL Director Alan Haight encourages all riders to take advantage of our state’s excellent network of motorcycle training schools.

“There are motorcycle safety classes out there for riders of all abilities,” Haight said. “These classes are critical for beginners, but also can help more experienced riders shake the rust off after a long winter and introduce new skills to increase riders’ safety and fun.” 

Motorcycle training and endorsement info on the webhttp://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motorcycles.html


Family hopes their tragedy will push drivers to “look twice” for motorcycles

June 27, 2011

Need another reason to look twice for motorcycles? Robert Peffley’s family is sharing one from the heart; a story told in videos that are part of the state’s Look Twice, Save a Life motorcycle safety campaign.

In the summer of 2007, Peffley was riding his motorcycle near his Lynnwood home when a car turned in front of his bike, killing him.

Cathi Dykstra knows that the cause of her son’s death is a familiar one. So often, drivers  involved in these type of serious injury or fatality crashes with motorcycles say they never saw the rider. Just days ago, on Saturday, June 25, a 41-year old Port Orchard man was killed after a car crossed the center line on State Route 3 just north of Belfair, striking him.

Dykstra hopes that Pef’s story will reach people in a way that statistics and collision reports might not. Emotionally.

“When (doctors) took me in to see him and there he was, and all the light was gone. But there he was.  He was my baby boy…but not,” Dykstra shared on camera. 

After her brother’s death, Kimberly Peffley changed  her career path.  She now manages a motorcycle safety school, and calls her new job part of her therapy.

“I feel like I wanted to protect anyone out there who wanted to ride because he loved it so much,” Peffley said.

The Look Twice,  Save a Life campaign is sponsored by the state Department of Licensing, State Patrol and the Traffic Safety Commission.


State motorcycle safety campaign gears up

June 21, 2011

On the heels of a fatal motorcycle crash Tuesday morning in Lacey, state traffic safety leaders say motorists and motorcyclists both have roles in sharing the road responsibly.

The Department of Licensing and State Patrol today released a public service announcement and new poster focused on reducing drug or alcohol impairment of riders – one of the top causes of fatal motorcycle crashes. Excessive speed, another top cause of fatal crashes, was a major factor in the Tuesday morning crash.

The DOL video also speaks to the importance of riding safely and getting the necessary training and driver license endorsement to legally operate a motorcycle. To operate a motorcycle on a public road in Washington, riders must have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their driver license.

Licensing will release another public service announcement next week, focused on the campaign’s theme, “Look Twice. Save a Life.” encouraging motorists to be aware of motorcyclists. That message will also be brought to Washington drivers through messages on the sides of transit buses, freeway message board signs and billboards.

There are about 230,000 motorcycles registered in Washington, a 29 percent increase from 2003.

The video can be seen at DOL’s website, or YouTube channel.


May is motorcycle safety month

May 11, 2010

motorcycle safety transit ad

By Tony Sermonti

A 22-year-old man was killed last week in King County after speeding, reckless driving and doing wheelies on his motorcycle. The man was ejected from his bike and died instantly after hitting a tree.

That collision underscores why May is motorcycle safety awareness month. Last year, 62 motorcycle riders lost their lives on Washington roads, and DOL is working with other traffic safety agencies to reduce that number to zero by 2030. DOL unveiled a motorcycle safety awareness campaign last week using transit ads, billboards and postcards to communicate with millions of drivers and about 27,000 unendorsed motorcycle owners.

Riders can be difficult to see on busy roads because of their smaller size and profile. Motorists should take an extra second to be aware of what’s around them. An extra look could save a life.

Motorcyclists have their own responsibilities – they share the same rules and responsibilities of the road. The top three rider-causes of motorcycle crashes are alcohol or drug impairment, improper lane position and speeding. To legally operate a motorcycle on Washington roads, riders must have a driver license endorsement – or they could see their bike impounded even after a simple traffic stop.

For more information about motorcycle safety training and motorcycle endorsements, go to the agency website at dol.wa.gov, or call the Washington Motorcycle Safety Program at 800-962-9010. The safety awareness campaign is funded with federal traffic safety grant funding through a partnership with the state Traffic Safety Commission.


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