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Friday, February 13, 2009

Gregoire to Eliminate Washington State Motorcycle Safety and Advisory Board

Governor Christine Gregoire is at it again. She has recently released a policy proposal that involves the elimination of over 150 boards and commissions. I have read through it, and actually do agree with a few of them. Others not so much. one of the items I disagree with is, the elimination of the Washington State Motorcycle Safety and Advisory Board. "This is the citizen oversight board, requested by the motorcyclists of Washington and funded through their endorsement fees. This is the same advisory board that has mentored the program from its earliest days, resulting in one of the best motorcycle safety programs in the nation and one of the best relationships between the riders of a state and the agency administering the program," according to the Washington Road Riders Association.

As a responsible motorcycle rider myself and someone who has taken the motorcycle safety training program, I immediately e-mailed my representatives (Marko Liias, Mary Helen Robert, and Paul Shin) requesting that they not support the removal of this board and program.

Here is the list of effected bills.
HB 2087: Eliminates the board in its entirety (see section 34)
HB 1497: Kills the entire motorcycle safety training program (see section 901 (12))
SB 5588: Suspends the entire program until July 1, 2011 (see section 109

Even if you aren't a rider, contact your representative requesting that they keep these programs. Statistics have shown that the majority of motorcycle accidents are due to the fault of the motorcyclist. And with a large number of those resulting in serious injury to the motorcyclists, by eliminating these programs I foresee the death rate and serious injury rate only going up.

To look at these programs in financial terms, by eliminating these programs and dealing with the accidents, the cost to the state would probably be larger than the immediate savings in eliminating the programs. Think about the cost of police, ambulance, and roadside services when the accident happens. Think about the cost to the disability programs, insurance system, and even potential unemployment.

Not only would eliminating these programs be irresponsible to the tax payers, it would be irresponsible to the health and welfare of motorcyclists and car drivers.

To contact your legislator go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx it only takes a few minutes.

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