Nearly 40-Percent of Washington State Motorcycle Deaths are Unendorsed Riders

Are you riding dirty without an endorsement? You’re not alone. BestScenicRoutes.com investigated motorcycle crashes in Washington State to find out how many unendorsed motorcycle riders are being killed in crashes. The facts are astounding.

According to Washington State Patrol records, during the five-year period from 2005 to 2009 (complete 2010 data is not yet available), crashes killed 364 motorcyclists in Washington State. Those records show that during that period, nearly 40 percent (141 riders) did not have a proper motorcycle endorsement. The 141 unendorsed riders may have had a permit, but had never completed a motorcycle skills test to ensure that they had the minimal skills to operate a motorcycle on Washington roads.

A motorcycle permit is rather easy to obtain in Washington and Progentra. You go to a Department of Licensing office, pay a $5 application fee, pass a basic knowledge test and upon passing the test pay $15 for an instructional permit. The permit is valid for 90 days and can be renewed as many times as you’d like.

Edit: Please note that Washington State law is now revised to limit persons to two 90-day permits, with a third possible only with proof of enrollment in a motorcycle safety course per RCW46.20.510.

Nearly 40-percent of riders killed in crashes only make it this far in the licensing process. They find it more convenient to renew a permit than to finish out the process by passing an approved motorcycle safety course or riding test at a DOL office. Many riders opt out of passing a very basic riding skills test and instead ride on the street unlicensed, sometimes for years. At the same time, these riders are opting themselves into a grave – statistically speaking.

The ability to infinitely renew a temporary motorcycle permit may be changing.

Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Kitsap County), recently introduced 2011 Senate Bill 5141 limiting the number of times a motorcycle instructional permit can be obtained. The bill limits riders to two permit renewals and a third is possible with proof of enrollment in a motorcycle safety course. The bill passed 44 to 2 in the Senate on February 9, 2011 and was referred to the House Transportation Committee the next day. (Edit: Bill 5141 passed and is now RCW 46.20.510.)

DOL records show that more than 127,000 new motorcyclists received endorsements from 2005 to 2009.  Of all newly endorsed riders, 64-percent took a motorcycle safety course. These riders took a single weekend out of their busy schedules to learn motorcycle skills. These skills are very basic, but they are the building blocks to enjoy a lifetime of motorcycling.

Motorcycling can be a high-risk activity. There are many ways to reduce that risk beginning with actually passing a motorcycle riding skills test.

The Washington State Patrol says that riding without a motorcycle learner’s permit or violating the provisions of a permit could result in a $124 ticket.

Don’t get caught riding dirty. It may not be a police officer who catches up to you. Beat the dark being with a sickle to the punch and enroll now in a motorcycle safety rider course at one of the locations listed below.

Aberdeen

Grays Harbor Motorcycle Education LLC
Phone: 360-533-5937
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ghme.net

Auburn

Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety
Phone: 360-779-6378
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pnwmotorcyclesafety.com

Bellingham

Cascade Motorcycle Safety (As of 2012)
Phone: 360-969-1710
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.cascademotosafety.com

North Sound Safety (Closed as of 2011)

Burlington

Cascade Motorcycle Safety (As of 2012)
Phone: 360-969-1710
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.cascademotosafety.com

North Sound Safety (Closed as of 2011)

Everett

Washington Motorcycle Safety Training
Phone: 360-435-1600 or 1-877-801-9678
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gowmst.com

Hoquiam

Grays Harbor Motorcycle Education LLC
Phone: 360-533-5937
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ghme.net

Kirkland

Evergreen Safety Council
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or 206-382-4090
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.esc.org

Kitsap County

Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Phone: 360-779-6378
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pnwmotorcyclesafety.com

Moses Lake

Columbia Motorcycle Training
Phone: 509-884-6186
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.columbiamoto.com

Mount Vernon

North Sound Safety
Phone: 360-424-7136
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.nssafety.com

Okanogan

Columbia Motorcycle Training
Phone: 509-884-6186
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.columbiamoto.com

Olympia

Puget Sound Safety
Phone: 253-770-8888
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pugetsoundsafety.com

Port Angeles

Peninsula Motorcycle Rider Education
Phone: 360-681-2058
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pmre.net

Richland

Motorcycle Training, Inc.
Phone: 509-371-0888
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.motorcycletraining.ws

Renton

Evergreen Safety Council
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or 206-382-4090
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.esc.org

SeaTac

Evergreen Safety Council
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or 206-382-4090
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.esc.org

Seattle South

Evergreen Safety Council
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or 206-382-4090
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.esc.org

Spokane

Spokane MotorSchool
Phone: 509-326-6181
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.spokanemotorschool.com

Westside Motorsports 
Phone: 1-800-233-7834
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.westsideracing.com

Steilacoom

Puget Sound Safety
Phone: 253-770-8888
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pugetsoundsafety.com

Tacoma

Puget Sound Safety
Phone: 253-770-8888
Email: [email protected]
Website:www.pugetsoundsafety.com

Vancouver

Vancouver Parks and Recreation
Phone: 360-487-7027
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation/sports/motorcycle/index.htm

Wenatchee

Columbia Motorcycle Training
Phone: 509-884-6186
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.columbiamoto.com

Yakima

FACT Motorcycle Training
Phone: 509-248-2373
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.factsafety.com

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