Extra seat belt patrols will hit local roadways soon

May 17, 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 injuries in a collision by about 70 percent.

“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 press release. “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.

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.

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Police plan extra DUI patrols for Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. May 5, 2011

Police plan to fan out across King County roads Thursday to search for intoxicated Cinco de Mayo motorists.

Holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day, tend to be particularly high-risk times for crashes to occur due to the amount of alcohol consumption.

Target Zero teams from the Washington State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies throughout the county plan to watch for impaired drivers Thursday night and early Friday morning.

“Impaired drivers kill and seriously injure hundreds of people across King County each year,” Bellevue Police Department Lt. Marcia Harnden said in a release. “We are serious about removing these dangerous drivers from the road. Please designate a sober driver, take a taxi or bus.”

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Statewide traffic deaths reach historic low

April 19, 2011

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.”

Report: Statewide traffic deaths reach historic low

March 31, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 31, 2011

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 Wednesday.

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Issaquah police join DUI crackdown Friday

December 14, 2010

NEW — 1 p.m. Dec. 14, 2010

Issaquah police and other law enforcement officers plan to step up traffic safety patrols Friday and Saturday during the Night of 1,000 Stars.

The stars symbolize the badges worn by on-duty law enforcement officers. The upcoming patrol marks the 20th year of the Night of 1,000 Stars emphasis patrol.

The effort is set up to remove impaired drivers from local roads. Officers also plan to be on the lookout for people speeding, driving aggressively, not wearing a seatbelt, using mobile phones illegally or violating other traffic laws.

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Holiday DUI crackdown starts on Thanksgiving

November 21, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 21, 2010

Thanksgiving marks the start of a statewide campaign to nab drunken drivers during the holiday season.

The effort — called Drive Hammered, Get Nailed — starts Thursday and runs through Jan. 2. The campaign means beefed-up DUI enforcement on King County roads.

“In Washington, impaired driving is still the most frequent contributing factor in deadly collisions,” Lowell Porter, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, said in a statement. “During this time of year with holiday parties and celebrations, we urge everyone to plan ahead and choose a safe ride home.”

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Follow rules of the road during Teen Driver Safety Week

October 17, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 17, 2010

Here’s a surprising fact: Research shows parents as the single greatest influence on teens’ driving.

Between Sunday and Saturday, the state celebrates National Teen Driver Safety Week to bring attention to the laws governing new drivers — and the impacts parents have on teens by setting limits and modeling responsible driving behavior.

For the second consecutive year, State Farm has provided a grant to the state Traffic Safety Commission to remind parents of teens about the resources available to teach teens to drive safely. Look for public service announcements on local broadcast stations throughout the week.

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Washington ranks high for seat belt use

October 5, 2010

Washington drivers and passengers buckle up more often than almost anyone else in the United States.

The information comes from a survey released Sept. 21 by the state Traffic Safety Commission. The seat-belt use rate among Washington residents has climbed to 97.6 percent — among the highest in the nation.

The rate inched upward 1.2 percent from last year.

Washington State Patrol troopers cite about 47,000 people each year for failing to buckle up on Washington roadways.

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Washington drivers rank among highest nationwide for buckling up

September 23, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 23, 2010

Washington drivers and passengers buckle up more often than almost anyone else in the United States.

The information comes from a survey released Tuesday by the state Traffic Safety Commission. The seat-belt use rate among Washington residents has climbed to 97.6 percent — among the highest in the nation.

The rate inched upward 1.2 percent from last year.

“These last few percentage points represent people who have simply not gotten the message about the value of seat belts,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a news release. “It appears that enforcement is the only way to win their compliance, and we will not hesitate to use that tool.”

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