Local police target holiday season DUIs

November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving ranks at No. 2 in King County for the holiday with the most arrests for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Washington State Patrol troopers urged revelers not to turn celebration into stress by driving under the influence throughout the holiday season.

The state patrol, Issaquah Police Department and other law enforcement agencies statewide launched the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI crackdown Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving.

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Washington State Patrol reminds motorists to avoid holiday DUIs

November 21, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 21, 2012

Thanksgiving ranks at No. 2 in King County for the holiday with the most arrests for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Washington State Patrol troopers urged revelers not to turn celebration into stress by driving under the influence Thursday, Thanksgiving, and throughout the holiday season.

“At the end of the day, targeting behavior that kills and injures is truly what matters,” state patrol Capt. Chris Gundermann, District 2 commander, said in a statement.

In 2011, troopers in King County made 22 arrests for DUI on Thanksgiving. The number puts the holiday second only to New Year’s Day for the number of DUI arrests on a holiday. The arrests last Thanksgiving included four collisions without injuries and a minor collision with injuries.

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Issaquah Police Department joins holiday DUI patrols

November 20, 2012

Issaquah police officers plan to join a national push to pull drunken drivers from local roads during the holiday season.

The agency is joining other police departments in King County, Washington and across the United States from Nov. 21 through Jan. 1 in Washington’s initial participation in a national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

During the most recent DUI crackdown statewide, officers arrested 1,603 motorists for DUI from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3. The total includes 364 motorists arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in King County.

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King County Metro Transit buses carry safety reminder for drivers

November 20, 2012

King County Metro Transit joined the state Department of Transportation, King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and other organizations Nov. 1 to remind motorists to move over or slow down in emergency zones.

Through the public safety campaign, buses bear posters to remind drivers to “Move Over or Slow Down,” because state law requires motorists to yield or move — or else. Under state law, motorists face a $248 fine for exceeding the speed limit in the 200 feet before and after a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights or siren engaged.

“The importance of drivers being attentive while approaching and traveling through emergency zones cannot be overstated,” Capt. Chris Gundermann, Washington State Patrol district commander, said in a statement.

Washington State Patrol highlights drowsy driving dangers

November 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 15, 2012

State troopers urged motorists to wake up to the dangers of drowsy driving during Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

In addition to drunken driving and distracted driving, drowsy driving can cause devastating effects on Washington roadways.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is observed through Nov. 18.

In 2010, drowsy driving caused 16 deaths and 60 seriously injured motorists in Washington. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries nationwide each year.

“Falling asleep at the wheel is as preventable as collisions that are caused by speeding and drinking and driving,” state patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “People need to take the necessary precautions to prevent sleepiness as a needless cause of deaths and injuries.”

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Residents can comment on Washington State Patrol

October 30, 2012

The public can offer comments about the Washington State Patrol as a team of assessors examines the agency’s policy and procedures, management, operations and support services.

The team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is due to arrive Nov. 5.

The public and agency personnel can offer comments to the assessors. Call 1-888-795-4483 toll free from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 5. Each telephone comment is limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the commission’s standards. Information about the standards is available by contacting state patrol headquarters at 360-596-4141.

Residents can direct written comments to Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155-6660.

The state patrol must comply with more than 450 standards in order to gain accredited and recognized status.

State allows studded tires as winter approaches

October 30, 2012

The change in seasons means motorists can again use studded tires.

In Washington, studded tires can be legally used between Nov. 1 and March 31. Violators face a $124 penalty during other months. The abrasion on roads caused by studded tires wears down pavement at a much greater rate.

The state Department of Transportation recommends motorists headed into higher elevations carry chains and use approved traction tires year round.

In addition to studded tires, the Washington State Patrol reminds all drivers and freight haulers to carry sufficient chains between Nov. 1 and April 1.

Under state law, commercial vehicles and combinations of vehicles more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating must carry sufficient tire chains.

Issaquah motorist is injured in Interstate 90 crash

October 23, 2012

Police said a 45-year-old Issaquah woman sustained minor injuries in a major crash Oct. 19 along Interstate 90 near the Interstate 405 interchange.

Washington State Patrol investigators said a 57-year-old Renton woman speeding in a Mazda caused the accident on westbound I-90 in Bellevue.

The state patrol said she crashed into the back of a Toyota at about 5:30 p.m., sending the Toyota into the adjacent lane, where a pickup truck driven by the Issaquah woman struck the vehicle.

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Washington State Patrol seeks public comment for accreditation

October 20, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 20, 2012

The public can offer comments about the Washington State Patrol as a team of assessors examines the agency’s policy and procedures, management, operations and support services.

The team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is due to arrive Nov. 5.

The public and agency personnel can offer comments to the assessors. Call 1-888-795-4483 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 5. Each telephone comment is limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies standards. Information about the standards is available by contacting state patrol headquarters at 360-596-4141.

Residents can direct written comments are requested to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155-6660.

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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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