Washington tops United States for seatbelt use at 97.5 percent

October 15, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Oct. 15, 2012

Washington topped the United States for seatbelt use last year, according to a recent federal report.

The report said 97.5 percent of Washingtonians buckled up in 2011. The release marked the seventh consecutive year the state’s seatbelt use rate exceeded 95 percent.

The national average for seatbelt use last year reached 84 percent.

“News like this makes me proud to be living in Washington,” Darrin Grondel, Washington Traffic Safety Commission director, said in a statement. “Safe roadways are a team effort that includes everybody using their seat belts because they know that seat belts save lives.”

Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center estimates wearing lap-and-shoulder restraints reduces a vehicle passenger’s risk of dying in a crash by 61 percent.

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Officers bust 1,603 motorists for DUI during crackdown

October 2, 2012

Officers from the Issaquah Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in the state arrested 1,603 motorists for driving under the influence during the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed enforcement campaign from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

In King County, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 364 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In the same period last year, King County officers arrested 452 people for DUI. Statewide, officers arrested 1,824 motorists during the 2011 patrols.

Besides the Issaquah Police Department, the campaign included officers from the Bellevue, Newcastle, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Renton police departments, in addition to the Washington State Patrol.

The funding for extra patrols originated as a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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Report: Collisions decrease on state roads

September 25, 2012

Fewer vehicle collisions occurred on Washington roads last year than at any other time during the past decade, safety and transportation officials announced Sept. 21.

Statewide, 98,881 collisions occurred in 2011, down from 113,908 in 2001 and down significantly from the most recent peak of 123,000 collisions in 2005.

Officials attributed the decline to changes in motorists’ behavior, increased safety efforts and safety features.

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Officers bust 1,603 motorists for DUI during Drive Hammered, Get Nailed

September 17, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 17, 2012

Officers from the Issaquah Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in the state arrested 1,603 motorists for driving under the influence during the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed enforcement campaign from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

In King County, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 364 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In the same period last year, King County officers arrested 452 people for DUI. Statewide, officers arrested 1,824 motorists during the 2011 patrols.

Besides the Issaquah Police Department, the campaign included officers from the Bellevue, Newcastle, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Renton police departments, in addition to the Washington State Patrol.

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Issaquah Police Department joins regional DUI crackdown

August 14, 2012

Issaquah police officers plan to join a regional push to pull drunken drivers from local roads in the run-up to Labor Day.

The agency is joining other police departments in King County, Washington and across the United States from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3 in the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign.

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Police urge motorists to buckle up, or face $124 fine

May 22, 2012

The start of the summer travel season means the Issaquah Police Department is urging motorists to buckle up — or else — during ongoing Click It or Ticket patrols.

The patrols in Issaquah and elsewhere in Western Washington started May 21 and last through June 3. Violators face a $124 fine for not wearing a seat belt.

The effort launched as public safety officials celebrated the 10th anniversary of Washington’s primary seat belt law. Officials estimate the law requiring motorists to buckle up has saved 1,010 lives in the past decade.

Before state law changed to make seat belt violations a primary offense, law enforcement officers could only cite drivers for violations if the motorist violated the speed limit or broke another law.

“If you just do one community, then you’re reaching a smaller percentage of people,” Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said May 16. “If you do it regionwide on the same day or the same weekend, it’s a consistent message. It really reaches far more people.”

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Issaquah Police Department joins Click It or Ticket patrols

May 15, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. May 15, 2012

Issaquah police officers plan to urge motorists to buckle up — or else — on Click It or Ticket patrols from May 21 to June 3.

The patrols start as public safety officials celebrate the 10th anniversary of Washington’s primary seat belt law. Officials estimate the law requiring motorists to buckle up has saved 1,010 lives.

Besides the Issaquah Police Department, 37 agencies in Western Washington plan to look for unbuckled motorists and passengers.

Violators face a $124 fine for not wearing a seat belt.

Washington state is a leader in seat belt use in the United States with 97.5 percent of motorists wearing seat belts — up 82 percent since the primary seat belt law took effect in 2002.

Statewide, traffic deaths declined from 658 in 2002 to 455 in 2011.

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Issaquah police plan extra DUI enforcement for Cinco de Mayo

May 2, 2012

NEW — 1:30 p.m. May 2, 2012

Local law and public health enforcement agencies asked revelers to toast Cinco de Mayo responsibly as the holiday approached.

Statewide, law enforcement agencies and the Issaquah Police Department plan to embark on a campaign to nab drunken drivers on the holiday, Saturday.

Local law enforcement agencies, plus the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Washington State Patrol, scheduled extra DUI officers and troopers to remove dangerous drivers from the road. Law enforcement officers also plan to visit bars to ensure responsible service.

Latino community leaders from the Mexican Consulate in Seattle, El Centro de la Raza, SeaMar Community Health Centers and Consejo Counseling & Referral joined Public Health – Seattle & King County and Target Zero Teams to support the traffic safety effort.

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Issaquah police to join St. Patrick’s Day DUI crackdown

March 2, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. March 2, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day could be unlucky for impaired motorists.

Statewide, law enforcement agencies and the Issaquah Police Department plan to embark on a campaign to nab drunken drivers before, during and after the holiday.

The effort starts March 9 and runs through March 18, the day after St. Patrick’s Day. The campaign means beefed-up DUI enforcement on Issaquah and King County roads, as Issaquah police and other law enforcement agencies join the crackdown.

Washington law enforcement officers advise all holiday partygoers to designate a sober driver, call a cab or choose not to drink alcohol.

Officers in King County on routine and extra patrols arrested 310 people for DUI during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement effort last year.

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New Year’s holiday weekend leads to DUI arrests

January 10, 2012

State troopers arrested 253 people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the New Year’s holiday weekend.

“It is always the hope that the new year starts with people driving safe and sober,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “But, I am proud that our troopers are out ensuring impaired drivers are taken off the roads.”

The number of people arrested statewide for DUI by troopers during the holiday weekend decreased from the 286 people arrested for DUI during the same period in 2010. The total from the 2011 holiday weekend includes 32 people involved in DUI collisions.

The holiday weekend started at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and ended at midnight Jan. 2.

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