As the weather warms up in Washington State, more people are taking their motorcycles out of storage and hitting the open road. In the last five years (2015-2019) an average of 80 people died while riding, and data shows that the majority of these motorcycle collisions happen in a three-month period during the summer.

What is High Visibility Enforcement?
In a continued effort to reduce motorcycle collisions and fatalities, law enforcement officers work overtime during peak riding season. Increased motorcycle safety patrols, Washington’s High Visibility Enforcement program (HVE), will be in place from July 10th through July 26th this year in Pierce, King, Snohomish, Clark, Yakima and Spokane County — where the largest number of serious injuries and fatal crashes occur.

What is the Purpose of High Visibility Enforcement?
High visibility enforcement is education and media, combined with law enforcement efforts to change dangerous driver and rider behaviors. Law enforcement officers condemn profiling and aren’t targeting motorcycle riders or anyone specifically, but are instead looking at the data — where and when collisions are happening. On average, only around 8–9% of the vehicles stopped during high visibility enforcement are motorcycles. Crash data guides the locations and times that traffic violations are enforced.

What Violations are Law Enforcement Officers Looking For?
Contrary to popular belief, 75% of fatal motorcycle crashes are due to rider error. By focusing on and enforcing certain violations, law enforcement officers hope to prevent serious collisions and injuries by getting violators off of the road so the average commuter can travel safely. During HVE, officers will be looking for the following violations:

  • Speeding
    50% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve speed or lane departure.
  • Aggressive Driving
    Even simple maneuvers like failing to signal, tailgating or lane blocking can all have deadly outcomes.
  • Seatbelt Violations
    95% of all Washington drivers and passengers use their seatbelt, but that leaves 5% at extreme risk.
  • Cell Phone Use
    Distracted driving claims roughly nine lives per day in the U.S. – approximately 3,500 individuals per year.
  • Driver Impairment
    Alcohol and drug impairment account for 57% of all motorcycle fatalities.

It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle safety, events, rides, clubs, gear and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.