Senate passes parade restrictions bill

The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill suspending some restrictions on motorcyclists driving in parades or public demonstrations.

Senate Bill 5185 was introduced by Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, who described it as common-sense legislation.

Current state law requires motorcyclists to get a waiver from the chief of the Washington State Patrol to suspend temporarily certain rules, such as ones requiring use of a helmet, tightened chin strap, mirrors, a windshield and handlebars less than 30 inches high.

Other requirements the state patrol chief can suspend include requirements on use of a permanent motorcycle seat and the prohibition against riding with both feet on the same side of the motorcycle.

"These rules make perfect sense on our highways, but they make no sense on a closed parade route, where participants, under a local permit, are traveling on a closed road at less than 2 miles per hour," Delvin said. "The average parade float has people standing on it, no seat belts and no other standard safety equipment that is required for a vehicle to operate on our city streets or interstates, yet they are legal for parades and demonstrations. Motorcycles should be treated the same way."

The bill would permanently suspend various rules for motorcyclists driving on a closed road in a parade or public demonstration permitted by a local jurisdiction.

It also would remove the state patrol from the process of suspending the rules.

"It's a good bill, and who doesn't enjoy a good parade with motorcycles?" Delvin asked.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.