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Spike in WA Motorcycle Deaths Prompts New Tests

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by Cyndy, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. According to the article, this has been in effect since August 1st but it was news to me.

    Published: Aug 28, 2012 at 8:07 PM PDT

    SEATTLE -- The number of deaths from motorcycle accidents is the highest it's been in seven years in our state.

    So far this year, crashes have killed 60 riders. To cut that number and the number of serious injury accidents, the state analyzed causes.

    Right after speed, it determined that more than half of all motorcycle crashes are caused by riders making mistakes in curves. So the state created a new test that adds a number of skills for new riders to get their endorsement.

    "What we want is a test that reflects someone's ability to operate a motorcycle in a variety of conditions. The test that we had was a good test but we thought it could be improved based on some things were seeing happening in accident statistics," said Brad Benfield with the state Department of Licensing.

    The state even created videos it posted online to show what's expected.

    For instance, riders are timed through a curve to demonstrate speed while staying within the lines. A total of five online videos demonstrate all of the different areas of the skills test.

    "This is really about trying to give the riders themselves the skills they need to operate motorcycles successfully," Benfield said.

    The new testing, which started August 1 and includes a new written test, is proving to be more difficult.

    According to David Wendell at Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Safety, their pass rate fell from 93 percent to 85 percent since the state put the new testing in place.

    Kenneth Bow -- a rider for more than 40 years now -- said he's totally in favor of stringent testing.

    "Number one, it's a safety factor for the person driving," he said. "And secondly, I don't think it's an infringement on the person's rights to have to prove their capability to prove they can ride a motorcycle."

    This new testing system only applies to those getting their endorsement for the first time.

    The top three causes of fatal motorcycle accidents in Washington are speed, lane errors and driving while impaired, typically involving alcohol.


    Video, article, and comments:
  2. Thanks for the info

  3. I always wondered how riding around in a 150x100ft parking lot at 10 MPH between cones proved ones ability to ride.
  4. :secret: They should have added a drinking test to make sure you can hold you shit.

    They should have added this a long time ago, but usually those who go off the road in a corner are just going too fast. It has nothing to do with being able to handle a corner at the recommended speed or speed limit. I'm sure the riding test is still a joke. I've seen them pass many people that have zero business being on a bike. I saw one dude a huge cruiser show up and barely be able to get it around the parking lot, followed by his buddy on a old Honda trial 90 or some shit. They both took the test on the scooter and (barely) passed. The guy on the cruiser dumped it while they were leaving the parking lot with their fancy endorsements.
  5. I think a link to those video clips was posted on an earlier thread. They can test all they want. It will do nothing to instill common sense.
  6. I am all for safety, but unfortunately this can't make someone ride safe.

    They said it themselves, one of the causes is speed, not the lack of control.
  7. The safety classes, aimed at the test, only allow you to ride their 250's. Once you've passe their class, you get the endorsement. The class one of the guys at work took, his instructor hadn't ridden on the street in over 20 years.

    In the end ... your going to have to learn how to ride - what ever bike you own - on your own.
  8. Typical bad article.

    Speed, the leading cause, yeah right :roll:

    So when a rider blows a corner at 15 over the limit, they say speed was the factor.

    So how come if 100% percent of competent, experienced riders on appropriate equipment can safely take the same corner at 20 over the limit, doesn't affect the reasoning?

    Speed is the easy excuse/reason and helps to feed the sheep that revenue collectors are desperately needed.
  9. :eek:ccasion: Cheers!
  10. Yeah ... I'd rather read the report they are chopping up for reader consumption. Then ... the answer finds itself.
  11. MC's are ripe for (and well past due) nanny-state regulation. Just like "nobody needs an assualt rifle" it won't be long before we hear "nobody needs more than 50hp in a streetbike". For the children.

    "Obamacare" is going to take a very dim view of risky activities, and it will be "only fair" that riders should pay more for their care because of the risk they take.
    Heavy-T likes this.
  12. Given how often we, the motorcycle community, complain about driver error or incompetence; and how easy it is to get a drivers license; I find two things interesting

    1) The three top causes of fatalities don't include another vehicle. (If you accept the study, and I'm not sure I do.) Speed, lane error, intoxicated.

    2) When we're asked to slightly increase our compentence level before getting a license we immediately resist.
  13. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    Of course! This is the land of "It's always the other guys fault!"
  14. lena

    lena Staff Member

    It might help a few learn how to take corners better but it's not going to prevent fatalities in my opinion.

    Hope that at least in WA they don't teach to never ever brake in the corner, like they did at my Team Oregon class and they screwed me up for the first year or two!
  15. Good to see a change, hope it helps. The instructors need to be more proactive though, have some flexibility on who gets to pass. When I got my endorsement one guy tucked the front of his 250 on a front brake drill going about 15 mph...he passed anyway.
  16. I took the class last week at PNW motorcycle safety at the supermall and I took the class on a BMW GS650.

    In the aforementioned class I took they told us that.
  17. Ever notice how most cops are republican :scratchea

    Get a life :angry7:
  18. That's a new one on me. Everyone I've talked that has taken the safety/endorsement classes has got stuck with a 250, in various states of mechanical condition. The advanced course let them bring their own bikes.

    p.s. Who is Kenneth Bow?
  19. Dunno. Never had any official interaction with them get that personal. Do you get cavity-searched often enough to have that discussion with them?

    The point being that enough people are killing themselves and others on/with MC's that the Fudd's are starting to notice, and that's never a good thing. Being a rider is going to get very expensive before too long.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  20. PeteN95

    PeteN95 Moderator Staff Member

    It's the same reason we have such poor drivers, poor training and easy tests. If you've ever been to the UK or Germany you know the drivers and riders there are much better because the tests are much harder and the training more thorough. They also have graduated licensing which requires you ride a small bike for a period of time before being able to ride a larger more powerful bike.
    nsrg500 likes this.
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