Well, riders, we need to get it in gear and go to the aid of the Wireless Communication Devices bill. (SSB 6345) This is the bill that makes it a primary offense to drive down the road texting or talking on your cell phone without using a hands free device. More simply put, picture the driver who is more involved in sending/receiving a text or yapping on that cell phone jammed in his/her ear than paying attention to piloting that 2 ton SUV. The officer that sees this oblivious idiot does not have to wait for the distracted driver to do something else, such as swerving into the unsuspecting motorcyclist, before he pulls them over.
Unfortunately, the House saw fit to water the bill down top such a state that it only applied to teenage drivers. That is all well and good, but the last several drivers that could not maintain their speed or lane position near my bike were definitely not teenage drivers. The House version would do nothing about the majority of the people who are ignoring the road while they operate their mobile offices. As you have probably discerned from my language, just like many of you, I do not agree with this dilution of a good bill that can save an innocent rider from getting killed or maimed by being cut off or run over.
The Senate agrees with us on this issue, and refuses to concur with the House amendments. We have been asked to lend our voices to the call for the House to recede from their version and agree to the Senate version. Riders need to contact their representatives as soon as possible and ask them to protect the innocent motoring public from the irresponsible operators by restoring (SSB 6345) to it’s original Senate version. To locate your representative go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx and follow the instructions. Lets let our voices be heard and get this fixed.
Until next time,
Ride Safe and Legislate Well,
“Texas” Larry Walker
Government Relations Specialist
Washington Road Riders Association