Motorcycle Safety Patrols 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Mark Medalen, WA Traffic Safety Commission, mmedalen@wtsc.wa.gov, 360-725-9878

Motorcycle safety patrols begin July 8th

OLYMPIA, WA — More motorcycles travel on Washington’s roads in the summer months than any other time of the year. Unfortunately, summer is also the time when, historically, more motorcycle riders are killed or injured in crashes. In a continued effort to reduce these crashes, increased motorcycle safety patrols start July 8, and run through July 24 in Pierce, King, Snohomish, Clark, Yakima, and Spokane Counties.

The patrols will focus on illegal driving behaviors by both motorcycle riders and other vehicle drivers. Local law enforcement agencies in these counties, along with the Washington State Patrol, will be working overtime focused on drivers and riders who commit traffic safety violations.

“Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and continue to be over-represented in deadly crashes,” said Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) Director Shelly Baldwin. “These crashes are preventable and we are working together to keep motorcyclists safe.”

These patrols are part of the WTSC’s motorcycle safety education campaign known as “It’s a Fine Line.” From 2017 through 2021, motorcycles made up just 3 percent of the registered vehicles on Washington’s roads but accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities (441 of 2,877). Of these fatal motorcycle crashes, more than half were single motorcycle crashes where no other vehicle was involved, and 70 percent were traced to causal factors committed by the motorcyclist. Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol, speeding, and running off the road are the main contributing factors in all motor vehicle deaths including motorcycles. Safe habits for riders like respecting and following speed limits, riding sober, completing beginner and advanced rider training, and wearing a USDOT-approved helmet and proper gear can help prevent crashes resulting in death and serious injuries. Other motorists should always drive sober, avoid using a cell phone and other distractions, respect and follow speed limits, allow plenty of following distance, and watch out for motorcycles.

“Summer events can bring thousands of people together from across our state,” Baldwin added. “We want to ensure that everyone enjoys the journey and arrives back home safely.”

In June 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study supporting the effectiveness of law enforcement patrols in reducing unsafe driving behavior and crashes. The WTSC and participating law enforcement agencies condemn profiling. Trained and commissioned law enforcement officers will be conducting these patrols enforcing traffic violations as defined by Washington State laws.

These and all extra law enforcement patrols sponsored by WTSC are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com. Additional information on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission can be found on the website, www.wtsc.wa.gov.