DOL director and State Patrol chief announce motorcycle safety campaign

May 5, 2011

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:

On multi-lane freeways, keep right, except to pass

March 7, 2011

Inspired by one texting tragedy, Lake Washington students fight back as another strikes

February 25, 2011


by Mark Horner
Everything seemed to be lining-up perfectly for three Lake Washington High School students as they prepared to share their new knowledge about the dangers of texting while driving. The three seniors began their research in early January by studying eye-opening statistics about TWD.  They had grown to feel  emotionally connected to Wendy Lerch, the mother of a 19-year-old woman killed in a texting crash south of Olympia last year.  Mrs. Lerch had responded to the students’ e-mails and she had answered their questions.

This week marked the first anniversary of Heather Lerch’s death.  And her crumpled car was on display Tuesday, Wednesday and today at Lake Washington High. Seniors Shannon Bebee, Taylor LaFave and Kaylin Wilson had worked hard to make it so. This was the culmination of their project.

But on February 18, another young woman died  texting while driving in Heather’s hometown.  Police say 22-year-old Ashley R. Jones-Davis crossed the center line and struck an oncoming truck.  The driver of the truck was not injured.

Rochester, Washington rests on a little more than 2 square miles of land. Yet the town of less than 2,000 people is connected to two TWD fatalities in just short of a year.

No, things didn’t line-up quite perfectly for the Lake Washington project. But the very recent loss of Ashley’s life heightened the students’ sense of urgency for sharing their new message:  Don’t let an LOL become an OMG.

Reggie’s story: 10-minutes that could save a life

August 26, 2010

by Mark Horner

What if you were told that 10-minutes of your time could save a life? And–just maybe–your own life. Or your kid’s. Or your dad’s. Yes, mom’s life, too.

10-minutes free of labor.
10-minutes devoid of any request for a single penny.
10-minutes simply spent sitting…and watching.

Okay—if you’ve peeked at the tags on this post—your hunch is correct. This is a video about texting while driving.

Maybe you already feel bombarded by the anti “TWD” campaigns. But you’ve probably never seen a video quite like this one. It’ll strip-away any lurking numbness from the topic.

This is Reggie Shaw’s story. And the story of the people he killed. And their families.

10-minutes. Not a second wasted.

Please watch, and perhaps, another life won’t be wasted.

Driving Skills for Life brings out hundreds of teens

August 19, 2010

A safe driving event in Auburn brought more than 200 teens and their parents out for the day to learn advanced vehicle handling skills from instructors from across the nation.

The National Governor’s Highway Safety Association and Ford Motor Company brought their touring event to Western Washington this week.

Director of Licensing Liz Luce welcomed the students and parents to the half-day event and took a spin on the driving course as well. Luce said that as a mother and grandmother, traffic safety and top-notch driver education is one of her top priorities for the agency.

Along with DOL, the State Patrol and Washington Traffic Safety Commission partnered with the event.