New Emphasis Aims to Make Washington Roads Safer this Summer

It’s officially summer! After a pretty wet winter, a lot of people are looking forward to some long days in the sun.

While warmer weather is always welcomed in Washington, it also means there is an increase in fatalities on our roadways.

Starting tomorrow, Friday June 23 to Sunday, June 25, Washington State Patrol troopers will be on the lookout for speeders along I-90 from Issaquah to the Idaho state line and State Route 2 near Stevens Pass.  In addition, members of the Commercial Vehicle Division, the Serious Highway Crime Apprehension Team, the Aviation Section, and the Domestic Highway Enforcement team will be working the roadways.

Check out how our Aviation Unit will be helping troopers on the ground:

Our goal is simple: Reduce the number of fatalities on Washington roadways.

More people are on the move during the summer months, and we want everyone out on the roads to be safe on their journey.

In 2016, there were 537 traffic-related deaths…28.5% of those were speed involved, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. No loss of life – neither your passengers nor any other road users – is worth speeding to your destination.

Speeding creates a greater potential for loss of vehicle control, a reduced effectiveness of occupant protection, increases the stopping distance and the degree of potential crash severity, and ultimately it increases the risk of serious injury or death.

It’s important to remember that “speeding” doesn’t mean just driving above the posted speed limit. It can also mean driving excessively fast during bad weather or when a road is under construction.

“Every year, speeding remains as one of the top contributing factors to highway deaths and serious injuries,” says WSP Chief John R. Batiste.” These collisions are preventable, and with drivers help, we can reduce collisions to zero by 2030 as part of the statewide Target Zero plan.”

Here are some safety tips to consider before hitting the road:

  • Be prepared and plan ahead- give yourself ample time if you have to drive
  • Warmer weather attracts many types of roadway users, including motorcyclists
  • Leave more distance between you and a motorcycle—3 or 4 seconds’ worth
  • Motorcycles are much lighter than other vehicles and can stop in much shorter distances
  • When traveling at 50 mph it takes more than the length of a football field to stop
  • Keep a safe following distance
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