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.