DOL director and State Patrol chief announce motorcycle safety campaign

The Washington State Patrol chief and DOL director Liz Luce announced a major motorcycle safety outreach campaign for this summer, geared to reduce motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities.

Last year, 67 motorcyclists died on Washington roads, a slight increase from 2009.

“We have some riders who are impaired by drugs or alcohol, inexperienced riders out there without a motorcycle endorsement and some motorists who, frankly, need to pay more attention to the road,” Luce said. “We’re focused on reducing these three major problems.”

“It happens every year,” said WSP Chief John Batiste. “The good weather arrives and so do these needless tragedies. We’re going to try and get ahead of the game with very strict enforcement.”

DOL’s “Look Twice, Save a Life” campaign will reach millions of drivers across the state and about 24,000 unendorsed motorcycle owners. Gov. Gregoire also issued a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.

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.

The top three rider-causes of motorcycle crashes are:

  • Alcohol or drug impairment
  • Improper lane position
  • 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.

Motorcycle training and endorsement info on the web:

4 Responses to DOL director and State Patrol chief announce motorcycle safety campaign

  1. Matthew says:

    I agree with Both Jim & Doug and would Venture to say That these Brilliant people that are dreaming up these Ideas Have NEVER rode a Motorcycle and haven’t a clue, They think they’re slick but It’s all about revenue for the state and what they don’t realize is that They have created this hate for cops. They have actually given people More reasons to hate cops, They just don’t get it ! These smart people are even shocked when cops get shot and killed and call it “senseless killings” and although these killings are terrible…. I understand WHY it happens, Have you ever heard of Firemen getting “Randomly Shot” ? So when somebody gets pulled over and their Motorcycle gets “Impounded” for not having an Endorsment…. What do they expect people to be Happy ? It’s just ONE MORE thing that the Government says we can’t do. I’m Not Impressed…

    • DOL Blog says:

      Hello Matthew,
      If you would like to learn more about our motorcycle safety campaigns, how we determine what we focus on, and the data that supports these decisions, I suggest you take a look at a special report created by a motorcycle safety task force our agency formed a few years ago. The work of this group, which was made up of motorcyclists and traffic safety experts, is still guiding our efforts today. These efforts are primarily aimed at increasing motorist awareness of motorcycles and promoting motorcycle training and endorsements.

  2. Doug Vavrick says:

    I disagree with the list of hazards cited above.

    The greatest danger to motorcyclists arises from car and truck drivers failing to recognize motorcycles as legitimate users of the road.

    The #1 cause of accidents involving motorcycles are cars/trucks pulling out of driveways or side streets into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, or a driver making a left turn into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. In other words, the #1 cause of car/motorcycle accidents is the failure of the car driver to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist.

    Quit blaming riders for car/motorcycle accidents. We’re not at fault. Why would we be? We have much more to lose than the average car or truck driver.

    If the state wishes to improve the safety odds for motorcyclists, it should first focus on educating car and truck drivers on how to drive on our roads and highways without unnecessarily killing motorcyclists.

  3. Jim Popper says:

    How many deaths/Accidents are attributed to Cell Phone use? Yet I consistently see drivers on NON- Hands free cell phones with impunity.

    When are you going to start targeting them and STOP harassing Motorcyclists?

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