New motorcycle awareness video shows why looking twice deserves “A Second Look”

December 2, 2014

It’s here!

After months of work, the Washington Motorcycle Safety Program is proud to roll-out its new driver training video focused on motorcycle awareness.

A Second Look is an 8-minute video produced with teen viewers in mind. It’s currently being distributed to every driver training school in Washington state, and is also available at dol.wa.gov.

A Second Look is an easily accessible tool for driving schools and instructors to use as they fulfill the state curriculum requirement regarding motorcycle awareness.

Paired with the video is a set of companion learning materials that can help facilitate even more active learning for their students.  These materials include essential “conversation generator” questions, brain-based learning classroom activities, an outline of key concepts, a fun quiz, and some resource information regarding motorcycle awareness.

A Second Look was produced in cooperation with Notion Pictures, using a federal grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Filmed in and around Olympia, Washington, this video conveys basic technical information useful to new drivers. It also creates empathy for all road users.

The story in this video follows a young driver named Ian who learns how to safely drive around motorcycles.  Ian learns from a motorcyclist named Randy.

We felt it was essential to create an emotional hook, so that viewers would not only learn ways to drive more safely,  but (and perhaps more importantly) gain a clearer understanding about why they should drive more safely.

Because A Second Look was developed for young drivers in driver training, we chose to present a stereotyped version of a rider.  However, as the story unfolds, it reveals that people who are stereotyped are, in fact, real human beings.

Using that approach, our hope is that the learning will go deeper, and remain memorable for a lifetime of safe driving.

Producing a video with a teen audience in mind provided the opportunity to make some unexpected choices, such as NOT showing the actual crash at the end of the story.

In using that approach, we’ve left it up to the “mind’s eye” of each viewer to see the consequence of Ian’s mistake in a way that is most powerful and relevant to him or her.

Why did the crash happen?

What could the driver and rider have done differently?

Did Randy die?

All of those questions are left for the viewer to consider.

Driving instructors can then use these questions, in conjunction with the companion materials, to re-enforce the power of making safe, effective choices on the road.

Though created for driving students, this video reminds us all of the power in simply looking twice; doing so really can–and does–save lives.


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.


Do I really need an endorsement to ride a scooter?

March 23, 2010

by Kyle McCarty

In Washington State, street-legal, two and three-wheeled vehicles can be defined as a moped or a motor-driven cycle (scooter or motorcycle).  It all depends upon engine size and speed.

A large number of riders do not know that (most) scooters require an endorsement.

  Mopeds vs. Scooters:  What’s the difference?

 Simply put, a scooter is a two or three-wheeled vehicle that is 50 cc’s or larger and can go faster than 30 mph.  A  moped is a two or three-wheeled vehicle that is less than 50 cc’s and cannot travel faster than 30 mph.

Scooters, motorcycles and trikes that are 50 cc’s or larger and can go faster than 30 mph must be licensed.  All of these vehicles are legally defined as motor-driven cycles.  Riders must possess a valid driver license with the appropriate endorsement.

Mopeds that are 49 cc’s or smaller and cannot go faster than 30 mph must be licensed.  These vehicles are legally defined as mopeds. Riders must possess a valid driver license.

In Washington, there are separate endorsements for two and three-wheeled vehicles.  A rider will need a category 3 endorsement  for a two-wheeled vehicle; while a three-wheeled vehicle requires a category 5 endorsement.  If the rider successfully passes knowledge and riding skills tests for both two and three-wheeled vehicles, he or she can opt to add a category 7 endorsement to his or her license.

In an effort to help our community better understand the laws and risks of riding, the Washington Motorcycle Safety Program offers the following resources:

DOL Motorcycle Information
Legal Reference
Washington State Patrol