Lane-splitting on Motorcycles — Legal or Illegal in Washington State?

People differ on whether lane splitting on motorcycles should be legal or not, but this technique — as with, for example, permitting “right turns on red” at traffic lights — has more to do with the convenience of drivers or riders than it does with best safety standards. In any event, whatever your stance on the subject, it is NOT legal in Washington State.

Photo of two motorcyclists that are 'lane-splitting' on a highway by being between larger vehicles in adjoining lanes.
Two of the motorcyclists in this photo are participating ‘lane-splitting’ by being sandwiched between larger vehicles in adjoining  lanes — the orange bike and the one furthest from the camera.  Car and truck drivers are just as responsible for avoiding this situation as are the bike riders. This photo was taken in Greece but the principle is the same everywhere. Copyright image.

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The Forgotten Aspect: Motorcycle Helmets Save Huge Amounts of Money, not ‘Just’ Lives!

Whenever people argue that it is the right of a motorcyclist to accept additional risk of serious injuries or death, if they wish to do so, a key part of the argument is casually forgotten, and that is the often huge extra expense to everybody else if the worst happens.  It is now many years since the average cost, per body, of fatal road-crashes in the USA went above $1 million.  Indeed it is a well above a million dollars now.

Photo of two people on a motor scooter in Florida, quite legally but very inadvisably without crash helmets.
Two people on a motor scooter in Florida, quite legally but very inadvisably without crash helmets.

Continue reading “The Forgotten Aspect: Motorcycle Helmets Save Huge Amounts of Money, not ‘Just’ Lives!”

Astonishingly, the USA Does Not Meet the Basic Road Safety Standards of the W.H.O.

While it is something one might reasonably expect only in relation to poorer, “third-world” countries, the United States of America fails to do well in any of the legislative requirements to achieve basic standards of road safety, as outlined in the most-recent edition of the Global Status Report on Road Safety, by the World Health Organisation [WHO].

W.H.O. Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 - Front Cover
W.H.O. Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 – Front Cover
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No More Excuses for Hand-held Cell Phones in Washington State

As of tomorrow –July 23, 2017 — it will be against the law for Washington State drivers to use hand-held cell phones while they are driving. This applies to all electronic devices, including tablets, laptops and video games. Tickets for driving while using hand-held electronics will go on a driver’s record and be reported to their insurance provider:

Even if you’re stopped at a light;

Or your kid is texting you;

Or you just need to check the score;

Or tell someone you’re running late.

Photo of an attractive bridge in the scenically beautiful Washington State.
Washington State, in the north west corner of the USA is wonderful for scenic drives and is also very actively fighting road deaths. Copyright image.

For further information on the new law, see:

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America

Perverse Priorities in Punishments for Vehicular Infractions in the USA

In this post, I am not particularly picking on California as such, because the weird situation I’m about to describe apparently happens in many, or maybe even all states (see the Massachusetts example in the photo below).

On July 20, 2017, the California Department of Motor Vehicles published this on its Facebook timeline:  ‘Don’t litter! The fine is $1,000, & you may be forced to pick up what you threw. Convictions go on your driving record.’ (Our italics, for emphasis.)

An attached photograph on the DMV post shows a picture of somebody dropping trash from the driver’s door window of a white car.

Photo of a road sign in Massachusetts showing fines for littering as $10,000.
Here’s a sign (in Massachusetts) that “up’s the ante” when it comes to disparity between fines for littering and fines for truly dangerous driving infractions. Copyright image.

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Utah faces an uninformed backlash over tighter drunk driving law

Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, the World Medical Association — the world’s top doctors — made a recommendation that no country on earth should allow a blood-alcohol limit higher than 0.05 percent.  Things started to move early in this new 21st Century and suddenly virtually all of the nations in Europe and many countries elsewhere had dropped their limits from 0.08% (or equivalent) to 0.05%.

Utah has now taken the laudable step of becoming the first state in America to follow suit and introduce this life-saving legislation, but the uninformed are now appearing out of the woodwork, hollering and howling in protest.

I wish you fortitude, Utah.  Stick to your excellent principles and save even more lives!

There’s a full article from earlier today, at MSN.com

 

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor – Advanced Drivers of North America