June 7, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. June 7, 2012
The approach of graduation at Issaquah School District high schools and elsewhere prompted the Washington State Patrol to remind teenagers to celebrate graduation safely.
Troopers urged parents to talk to teenagers about the perils of distracted driving and driving under the influence.
“I have seen my share of fatal collisions involving kids who just graduated from high school and were celebrating with their friends,” Lt. Kandi Patrick said.
In recent years, more than 1,000 fatal collisions in Washington involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 25. Police said vehicle drivers and passengers encompassed more than 90 percent of deaths, and 61 percent encompassed the vehicle driver.
May 22, 2012
State Attorney General Rob McKenna and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne teamed up May 1 to warn teenagers about the dangers of texting and driving.
In order to address the problem, the National Association of Attorneys General — led by McKenna — joined a national coalition to roll out public service announcements featuring Kahne, a Washington native. The coalition also includes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council.
The spots marked a nationwide Stop the Texts Day and the start of National Youth Traffic Safety Month. Watch the PSAs at www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org.
Federal officials rank distracted driving as the No. 1 killer of teenagers in the United States. In 2010, more than 3,000 people died and another 416,000 sustained injuries due to texting and other forms of distracted driving.
“While teen drivers often feel invincible, the reality is that texting and driving too often leads to terrible injuries and even death,” McKenna said in a statement. “No text message is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Texting while driving should be at least as socially unacceptable as driving without a seat belt.”
January 3, 2012
2012 Issaquah goals are very achievable
Each year our news staff and editorial board put their heads together to create a list of goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still on our wish list.
Environmentally speaking — Local restaurants need to step up and get compliant with the city’s mandate on use of recyclable containers. Most already have, but not all. The city should go a step further and follow Seattle’s lead in banning plastic grocery and retail bags.
Central Issaquah Plan — The plan that will act as a guideline for redevelopment of Issaquah’s business district should be completed this year. Take it one step further and implement it for new development in the highlands, too.
Park Pointe — Now that the land deal is done, the city and volunteers can transform the 100 acres on Tiger Mountain for everyone to enjoy; Issaquah Environmental Council volunteers started the process last week by planting native species.
Economic development — With the re-engineering of how City Hall functions to encourage a more robust economic development of the business community, the time has come for action. Put measurable goals in place immediately with an eye toward filling vacant storefronts.
November 29, 2011
With a rising number of social networking sites online, the importance of friendship and sociality increases at an incessant rate for teens. Most cellphone users, teenagers especially, use text messages to communicate and interact, a normal occurrence that everyone has come to recognize and understand.
But the seemingly harmless tapping of fingers on the keyboard is the also same reason for a high degree of fatalities during driving, raised to an extent where insurance companies ask for nearly double a price for younger people. Studies have shown that texting and driving impairs a driver’s abilities and is very dangerous. Yet a high number of students have few qualms regarding this, choosing to put a little too high a certainty in their abilities.
When used sparingly and in moderation, texting is not a quandary at all, and can be beneficial and entertaining. However, when teenagers are often sleep-deprived and running low on energy, it is doubtless that texting is a good method to distract oneself manually, visually and cognitively when behind the wheel, significantly heightening the risk of crashing. This is part of the reason why adults view high school students stereotypically as negligent and technology addicted.
Texting has worked its way into the daily activities of teenagers. It’s safe when one chooses it to be so. Every teen should keep in mind that the next time he or she is about to step on that gas pedal, he or she should rub his or her eyes and remind himself or herself to be focused on the task at hand.
November 8, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 8, 2011
State troopers urged motorists to wake up to the dangers of drowsy driving to launch Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
In addition to drunken driving and distracted driving, drowsy driving can cause devastating effects on Washington roadways.
In 2010, drowsy driving caused 17 deaths and 74 seriously injured motorists in Washington. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents nationwide each year.
“It always breaks my heart to hear that someone was killed or injured because a driver fell asleep at the wheel; these are totally preventable deaths and collisions,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement.
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week runs through Saturday.
October 25, 2011
Washington State Patrol troopers stopped almost 400 motorists for cellphone infractions last month.
Troopers continue to monitor local roads for cellphone violators.
State law changed in 2009 to make cellphone use and texting primary offenses for motorists. Before the change, law enforcement officers could only cite drivers for phone use if the driver violated the speed limit or broke another law.
In September, King County troopers stopped 370 drivers for talking on cellphones and 43 people for texting behind the wheel. The state patrol said more than half of the violators received a $124 ticket for illegal cellphone use.
The state patrol encouraged motorists not to use a cell phone behind the wheel, but if necessary, to use a hands-free device to help keep the focus on the roadway.
October 18, 2011
NEW — 11 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011
Officials plan to highlight teenage motorists’ districted-driving stories during National Teen Driver Safety Week.
For National Teen Driver Safety Week, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission joined State Farm and Clear Channel Radio to develop a project aimed at reducing distracted-driving collisions among teens.
The annual observance is celebrated through Saturday.
Radio announcers on Clear Channel stations popular among teenagers — KUBE-FM and KISS-FM — plan to solicit personal stories from teens about distracted-driving experiences. Organizers plan to then develop the stories into YouTube videos and radio public-service announcements.
June 14, 2011
Police issued 288 tickets for seatbelt offenses during a recent effort to encourage motorists to buckle up.
From May 23 to June 5, the Issaquah Police Department and other law enforcement agencies patrolled local roads at night, looking for unbelted motorists.
Overall, police issued more than 600 citations for seatbelt violations and other infractions. The citations included 192 cellphone and texting violations, 40 speeding tickets and two aggressive driving infractions. Officers made six misdemeanor warrant arrests, and issued 85 uninsured motorist and 24 suspended or revoked license violations.
Statewide, law enforcement officers and the Washington State Patrol wrote 6,681 tickets, including 2,994 seatbelt violations, during the patrols.
In King County, the Target Zero Task Force and local law enforcement agencies worked the extra patrols. Funding for the patrols came from a Washington State Traffic Commission grant.
“Buckling up is the simplest and most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in the car.” Kent Police Sgt. Robert Constant, South King County law enforcement liaison, said in a news release.
April 19, 2011
You are on your way home from after-school sports, bumpin’ the music in your car, super excited to get home and call your buddies to see who wants to chill for the night. You feel your phone buzz in your pocket and you chuckle to yourself, 99.9 percent sure it’s your babe. You pull it out, taking a quick glance, but promising yourself that you won’t respond.
Too bad it’s the sweetest message ever and you just can’t help but sneak in a quick response. You look down for a second to finish the text and when you look back up, you realize the light has turned red and you’re already sailing through the intersection. There is a car headed straight for you.
What are the consequences of that split-second decision? Is your life or someone else’s really worth risking one look at your phone? Ask yourself this: Are you going to choose carefully between life and death the next time you receive a text message while driving?
Most people think they are exempt from the statistics they’ve seen on Oprah. They think that those graphic images of collision victims on TV don’t relate to their lives in any way. They blindly ignore the warnings they have heard so many times and refuse to take the pledge against distracted driving, thinking such a calamity will never plague them.
February 1, 2011
NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 1, 2011
Target Zero Teams in King County plan to tackle drunken driving on Super Bowl Sunday.
Washington State Patrol troopers plan to fan out on state roads across the county in the hours after Super Bowl XLV.
“Fans don’t let fans drive drunk,” WSP Chief John Batiste said in a release. “Baseball has the designated hitter. On Super Bowl Sunday we need designated drivers to make sure their fellow fans get home safely.”
The agency also encouraged motorists to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers. Under state law, drivers can use mobile phones to report emergencies to 911.