In 2006, 82 motorcyclists were killed in Washington, and fatalities have almost doubled over the last 4 years.
Forty percent of all riders involved in fatal accidents did not have a Washington motorcycle endorsement.
To reverse these staggering statistics, DOL is working hard to ensure all riders are properly trained and endorsed to ride.
Starting July 23, low-cost motorcycle training will cost $125. All but $10 of the initial endorsement fee goes to the Motorcycle Safety Education Fund to support rider education and licensing. This will provide low-cost training for an additional 1,000 students per year.
With the help of the Governor and the Legislature, we are making progress toward providing rider education to every citizen who wants to ride on our highways.
Beginning in July 2007, our rider training sites will increase the number of low-cost training classes by an average of 10% at every site over the next 2 years. This means 3,000 additional new or experienced riders will receive training next year.
We also recently opened new training sites in Spokane County and Cowlitz County, which both have rapidly growing populations of motorcycle riders.
Our staff is constantly reviewing the curriculum and observing classes to ensure the training is top notch. To increase class availability, DOL is also training twice as many instructors per year.
To encourage motorcyclists to be properly trained and endorsed, DOL launched a statewide media campaign in May. The “Endorse Your Sport” campaign is designed to educate both current and future riders about the need to be properly trained and licensed to safely and legally ride a motorcycle on our highways.
The campaign featured a televised public service announcement stressing the unique dangers faced by riders and the need for proper training to avoid them. Other elements of the campaign include: