May is motorcycle safety month - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

May is motorcycle safety month

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Licensing is kicking off Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month by launching a series of educational videos on YouTube.com.

"These videos do more than just show the skills test required for getting a motorcycle endorsement," explained Motorcycle Safety Program Manager Steve Stewart. "They explain why you need those skills and how they translate to riding out on the open road."

The educational videos, like the motorcycle skills test, are divided into four parts.

May is typically one of the deadliest months for motorcyclists, as many people begin riding again after taking the winter months off.

"In May, when the weather improves, we often see more people riding their motorcycles on our area roads," said Governor Chris Gregoire. "That's why I proclaimed this month Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. I want to remind all Washingtonians to be more alert and aware while driving so we can avoid harmful collisions and accidents."

Since January, 15 motorcycle deaths have been reported on Washington roadways. In 2008, there were 78 motorcycle fatalities statewide. There were 65 fatalities in 2007.

"Motorcycle skills are perishable, if you don't use them every day, you can lose them," Stewart said.  "Even experienced riders can benefit from a training class, especially if they haven't been on a motorcycle in a while."

Motorcycle operators must pass a written and skills test to receive a motorcycle endorsement on their license, which allows them to operate a motorcycle legally in Washington. This can be done through the Department of Licensing or during a state-approved rider training course. For complete information, visit EndorseYourSport.com.

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