Ride Safe!

Dear Editor,

Right now, motorcyclists are taking in the beauty of our Washington summer. Whether you ride or know someone who does, it’s assuring to know that most Washington adults agree that we all share a responsibility for safety on our roadways.

As a traffic safety professional, I want to share some data with you: Motorcycles account for just three percent of registered vehicles in Washington, but they’re involved 15 percent of fatal crashes. In 75 percent of motorcyclist-involved fatal crashes the rider is at fault; the two most common factors are speeding and impairment. Even so, it’s safe to say that most riders follow traffic rules.

If you ride, you’re in control of your safety. You depend on your own skills, experience, training and judgment. You do it by wearing a helmet and the right gear, riding sober, and choosing safe speeds. And this is key: don’t outride your talent.

Novice riders are over-represented in serious crashes; so take a class, train with an experienced rider, do what it takes to get good. Then you can truly enjoy the freedom that motorcycle riding offers. Riding motorcycles isn’t a hobby; it’s a craft. It takes continuous practice to be an excellent rider.

Josh Ley

Region 1 Target Zero Manager