Statewide traffic deaths reach historic low

April 19, 2011

By Staff

The number of deaths on Washington roadways reached a historic low last year: 448, a decline from the 492 deaths in 2009. Washington Traffic Safety Commission officials said 2010 marked the safest year ever on Washington roads. The number of deaths could increase slightly as the commission continues to receive reports.

Under a highway safety plan called Target Zero, the state aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Washington during the next 19 years. Officials set a goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030.

“The lives saved are a true testament to the effectiveness of Washington’s comprehensive and integrated approach to traffic safety: the Target Zero plan,” commission Director Lowell Porter said in a statement released March 30.

Target Zero also includes public education, safety engineering to improve roadways and vehicles, timely response by emergency medical personnel, and strong enforcement of traffic safety laws.

“Troopers will continue to take swift action on the three violations that we know take the most lives: speeding, impaired driving and the failure to wear seat belts,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said. “Eliminating those three violations would, just by themselves, get us most of the way to Target Zero.”

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