Extra seat belt patrols hit local roadways soon
May 13, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. May 13, 2011
Issaquah police officers remind drivers and passengers to buckle up — or face a $124 ticket.
Motorists can expect to see law enforcement officers patrolling city and King County roadways to search for unbuckled and improperly buckled drivers and passengers from May 23 to June 5.
Officials recorded 2,866 deaths and 13,749 serious injuries in motor vehicle collisions statewide between 2005-09. The medical costs from vehicle collisions amount to more than $276 million per year in Washington.
Experts said wearing a seat belt decreases the chance of dying or sustaining serious injures in a collision by about 70 percent.
Washington drivers and passengers buckle up more often than almost anyone else in the United States, so law enforcement agencies remain committed to seat belt enforcement.
“Law enforcement officers would rather have motorists buckle up than write a seat belt infraction,” Lowell Porter, Washington Traffic Safety Commission director, said in a statement. “The evidence is clear that seat belts save lives. By increasing seat belt use, Washington continues to reduce the costs incurred by those who don’t buckle up.”
In addition to the Issaquah Police Department, Washington State Patrol troopers and the King County Target Zero Task Force plan to participate in the extra patrols. Police in nearby Bellevue, Maple Valley, Newcastle, North Bend, Renton and Snoqualmie plan to join in the seat belt enforcement effort.
Target Zero refers to the state’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.