May 11, 2010
OLYMPIA — 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 striking a tree.
That collision underscores why May is motorcycle safety awareness month. Last year, 62 motorcycle riders lost their lives on Washington roads, and the Department of Licensing is working with other traffic safety agencies to reduce that number to zero by 2030.
The DOL’s “Look Twice. Save a Life.” campaign unveiled last week is geared to reach millions of drivers across the state 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.
The DOL’s Motorcycle Safety Program is a clearinghouse for information on how to get endorsed and for motorcycle safety training programs across the state.
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 monthlong safety awareness campaign is funded with a federal traffic safety grant through a partnership with the state Traffic Safety Commission.