(1) The purpose of this chapter is to establish a new agency of state government to be known as the Washington traffic safety commission. The functions and purpose of this commission shall be to find solutions to the problems that have been created as a result of the tremendous increase of motor vehicles on our highways and the attendant traffic death and accident tolls; to plan and supervise programs for the prevention of accidents on streets and highways including but not limited to educational campaigns designed to reduce traffic accidents in cooperation with all official and unofficial organizations interested in traffic safety; to coordinate the activities at the state and local level in the development of statewide and local traffic safety programs; to promote a uniform enforcement of traffic safety laws and establish standards for investigation and reporting of traffic accidents; to promote and improve driver education; and to authorize the governor to perform all functions required to be performed by him or her under the federal Highway Safety Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-564; 80 Stat. 731).
(2) The legislature finds and declares that bicycling and walking are becoming increasingly popular in Washington as clean and efficient modes of transportation, as recreational activities, and as organized sports. Future plans for the state's transportation system will require increased access and safety for bicycles and pedestrians on our common roadways, and federal transportation legislation and funding programs have created strong incentives to implement these changes quickly. As a result, many more people are likely to take up bicycling in Washington both as a leisure activity and as a convenient, inexpensive form of transportation. Bicyclists are more vulnerable to injury and accident than motorists, and should be as knowledgeable as possible about traffic laws, be highly visible and predictable when riding in traffic, and be encouraged to wear bicycle safety helmets. Hundreds of bicyclists and pedestrians are seriously injured every year in accidents, and millions of dollars are spent on health care costs associated with these accidents. There is clear evidence that organized training in the rules and techniques of safe and effective cycling can significantly reduce the incidence of serious injury and accidents, increase cooperation among road users, and significantly increase the incidence of bicycle helmet use, particularly among minors. A reduction in accidents benefits the entire community. Therefore it is appropriate for businesses and community organizations to provide donations to bicycle and pedestrian safety training programs.
[2009 c 549 § 5141; 1998 c 165 § 2; 1967 ex.s. c 147 § 1.]
Short title—1998 c 165: "This act may be known and cited as the Cooper Jones Act." [1998 c 165 § 1.]
Driver education courses: Chapter 28A.220
Drivers' training schools: Chapter 46.82