State launches summer motorcycle safety campaign
June 6, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. June 6, 2011
The state Department of Licensing and the Washington State Patrol joined to launch a safety outreach campaign to reduce motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities during the summer.
Motorcycle-related accidents claimed 67 motorcyclists last year, a slight decrease from 2009.
“It happens every year,” state patrol Chief John Batiste said in a news release. “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.”
The agencies’ “Look Twice, Save a Life” campaign is geared to reach millions of drivers across the state and about 24,000 unendorsed motorcycle owners.
Riders can be difficult to see on busy roads because of motorcycles’ smaller size and profile. Motorists should take extra time to be aware of what’s around them.
The top three rider-causes of motorcycle crashes rank as alcohol or drug impairment, improper lane position and speeding.
“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,” state Licensing Director Liz Luce said in a news release. “We’re focused on reducing these three major problems.”
To legally operate a motorcycle on Washington roads, a rider must have a driver license endorsement — or his or her bike could be impounded even after a simple traffic stop. The licensing agency offers information for unendorsed riders.