Question: There have been a lot of motorcycle accidents resulting in death or damage to other vehicles, and I was told motorcycles did not even have to carry liability insurance.
If this is true, I’d like to know why — and why the legislators, knowing it, if they did, haven’t done anything to make them have insurance. —Marilyn Calkins, Tacoma
Answer: You are correct. In Washington, motorcycles and mopeds are exempt from the state law requiring that all other registered vehicles have liability insurance.
The law, RCW 46.30.020, was passed more than 20 years ago, so it’s hard to know what legislators were thinking. However, it’s worth noting that this state is one of a small minority that offers such an exemption. Only Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire and Florida have similar laws.
Even though motorcyclists are not required to carry insurance, they’re still bound by the state’s financial responsibility laws, which make all drivers liable for damage they cause on highways.
Rob Carson: 253-597-8693 rob.carson@ thenewstribune.com
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