Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Motorcycle Riders: Wear a DOT Approved Helmet or Pay the Consequences

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is stepping up enforcement efforts towards motorcycle riders that ride with helmets that are not Department of Transportation (DOT) approved and who are not properly endorsed.

Motorcycle injury and fatality collisions continue to rise, especially during the warm summer months when ridership is at the highest levels. Troopers are working diligently to stop reckless motorcyclists who not only put themselves, but other motorists in danger. The WSP will also be looking for riders who ride with helmets that do not meet DOT safety standards. Even the safest riders put themselves at increased risk when they ride without proper protective gear.

On August 10, 2008, a motorcyclist was killed on SR 410 in the Greenwater area. That motorcyclist was driving 15 MPH at the time of the collision; however, he was wearing a helmet that did not meet DOT safety standards and died as a result of a head injury. A few weeks later, another motorcyclist in the same area lost control of his motorcycle at speeds up to 80 MPH. He survived with only minor injuries. That very lucky motorcyclist was wearing all of the proper protective gear from head to toe, including a DOT approved motorcycle helmet.

In addition, troopers are finding an alarming number of riders who have not passed a motorcycle safety course and obtained the proper license endorsement. The WSP would like riders to know that if they are stopped and found to be unendorsed their motorcycle will be impounded.

“Rider’s have the power to save their own lives. Our job is to motivate them in that direction,” stated Chief John Batiste.

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