Motorcycle Awareness Month - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Motorcycle Awareness Month

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - It is Motorcycle Awareness Month throughout the month of May. 

The Washington Motorcycle Task Force, a group that focuses on problems and issues surrounding motorcycles throughout Washington, reported that almost one-third of motorcycle riders killed in accidents do not have a proper motorcycle license.

The Task Force reported that 80 percent of the deadly motorcycle accidents happened between April and September.

Washington State Trooper Dave Wilbur said wearing the proper helmet is very important and that many riders are not equipped with the right headgear.

He said, "The little scull caps that just have a little shell and a little bit of padding don't cut it."

Troopers say that many riders they pull over do not have a proper motorcycle license.

Tri-Cities local resident Debbie Austin spent Sunday morning practicing for her motorcycle road test.  She said, "The biggest challenge is just trying to stay up on the bike that is a lot bigger and heavier than you."

Troopers say speed, inexperience and bad conditions are a few reasons for motorcycle accidents.

Tri-Cities resident Mario Sanchez said he almost died on a bike four years ago.  He said the experience was terrifying but he loves to ride.  He was flown to Haborview Medical Center with extensive injures, but in the last four years was able to make a complete recovery. 

Sanchez said, "Getting shipped out on a plane when your life is in the hands of the doctors can be pretty scary."

Sanchez spent Sunday afternoon with fellow riders throughout the Tri-Cities.

Wilbur said, "You're not going to dent a fender on a bike.  If you hit something on a motorcycle you're probably going to crash your bike."

The Washington State Department of Licensing has started an awareness campaign to educate people about motorcycle safety.  For information about motorcycle endorsements go to