In The Know

Did you know that you cannot legally park your motorcycle unless both wheels are parallel to the curb? And some motorcyclists have been ticketed for violating that rule? Changing that law so motorcycles can park vertical to the curb is just one of the amendments to Washington State laws that might be considered this year. But legislators have a lot of work to do every year, and what takes priority is often a matter of who talks most. As they say, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

ABATE of Washington State has been lobbying our legislature for many years to improve laws that affect motorcycle enthusiasts. For example, they successfully pressed for “Sharrows Law” that allows a motorcycle to pass a bicycle in the same lane. They also got passed the “Red Light Law” so that when your bike is too light to trigger a signal change at a red light you only have to wait through one cycle and then go ahead when it’s safe.

On January 19, ABATE held their annual legislative event called Black Thursday. Hundreds of motorcyclists rode to the state capitol building in Olympia. There they talked to state senators and representatives about the issues that concern motorcycle enthusiasts. They also heard speakers, both folks from ABATE and legislators who support better motorcycle laws. A BYOB Meet and Greet with live music at the Governor Hotel ended the day.

But one day is not enough. It takes consistent pressure from many voices to remind legislators of the laws in question and, perhaps, to change some minds. To help continue the push for better motorcycling laws, Eagle Leather is hosting a Motorcycle Laws Question and Answer session. It will be held at the Eagle Leather store in Lakewood on Saturday, January 26 from noon until about 2 p.m. Brian Lange and Louise Bentley from ABATE will try to answer your questions. As you may know, a bill must first pass committees in the State House or Senate and then be debated on the floor and passed. Then it must be passed by the other legislative body and signed by the governor. Brian and Louise can give you up-to-the-date status reports on the various bills and advise you about whom to contact and how best to approach them.

You can find ABATE’s research and opinions in a downloadable pdf on their website if you want to study up ahead of time. Or, you can just ask at the Q and A on Saturday.

The politicians value your opinion on these legislative matters. We hope you’ll inform yourself on the issue and then let your state legislator know what you think. Our Question and Answer session on the 26th is a great way to start getting informed.

See you there!