May is motorcycle safety month

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, 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.

4 Responses to May is motorcycle safety month

  1. Danne says:

    There should be mandatory training for anyone who wants to drive a motorcycle. I have seen a lot of reckless bikers – usually speeding.

    Great article on motorcycle safety:

  2. anon says:

    The ad by itself works. I was addressing the author of this blog post who used an example of a showboat motorcyclist killing himself due to his own unsafe acts, which has absolutely nothing to do with the message of the ad which is directed towards 4-wheeled vehicle drivers urging them to look twice for, and share the road with motorcyclists.

    The blogger writes “this collision underscores…”. Well, there was a collision, but it was between the unsafe motorcyclist and a tree. The ad is not directed towards trees to share the road with motorcyclists!

    All I’m saying is I think the story about the motorcyclist killing himself at the beginning of this post was a poor choice by the author (Tony Sermonti). There are plenty of examples of 4 (or more) -wheeled vehicle drivers killing motorcyclists that would have illustrated the point of the ad much better.

  3. Anon says:

    Seems to me like motorcyclists AND car drivers have a role to play. It’s not about one or the other. I saw the ad the other day in Seattle. It got my attention.

  4. anon says:

    You lead off with a banner, seemingly aimed towards four-wheeled vehicle drivers, about looking twice for and sharing the road with motorcyclists, but then you illustrate with a tale of a show-off who was speeding and riding wheelies and killing himself due to his own actions?

    Hey, I agree with the message but couldn’t you have used a better example to illustrate the point? These seem kind of disjointed…

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