SHELTON, Wash. - Since January, 2008, the Mason County Sheriff's Traffic Enforcement team has been diligently helping to keep the roads of our County safer for its citizens. This is being done through thorough and competent investigations, strict enforcement of traffic laws and educating the public.
The traffic enforcement deputies are out on the county roads aggressively looking for the impaired, aggressive, and speeding drivers. Traffic Deputies have partnered with the Washington State Patrol, Washington Traffic Safety Commission and other local law enforcement agencies to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injury collisions by conducting nighttime seat belt emphasis patrols and X-52 emphasis patrols that target drinking and speeding drivers.
Between January 1, 2009 and July 10, 2009, traffic enforcement deputies have a total of 123 collisions on county roads. Of those collisions, there was only one fatality, 59 injury accidents and 73 property damage accidents. Deputies have responded to a total of 388 traffic complaints not involving collisions. Traffic Team Deputies have made a total of 1543 traffic related contacts. Between January 1, 2009, and July 10, 2009, Traffic Deputies have written 514 citations for various traffic violations. A total of 31 DUI arrests have been made by traffic enforcement team deputies. Traffic Team Deputies have significantly increased the number of contacts and citations in hopes of decreasing serious injury and fatality traffic collisions. These figures represent a decrease in fatal traffic collisions in Mason County since 2006 when there was a total of 15 fatalities on Mason County's highways. Sheriff Casey Salisbury said "This is a trend we intend to maintain. Our goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities on our highways by stopping more violators and getting the impaired driver off the street."
During the first half of 2009, traffic enforcement has increased significantly over 2008 levels. However collision numbers are slightly above 2008 levels while still remaining significantly below 2006 levels.
Since May 24, Mason County Deputies have participated in three nighttime seatbelt emphasis patrols. These patrols are designed to encourage seat belt use through enforcement. During these three patrols deputies contacted a total of 62 violators. 52 seat belt violators were cited. Four suspended drivers were arrested. One violator was arrested for an alcohol related offense. One criminal citation was issued and one warrant arrest was made. It should be noted that seat belt compliance in Mason County is at about 92%.
Training for traffic deputies has reached new heights. All traffic deputies have received training in advanced collision investigation. One deputy has had technical collision investigation and one deputy has had the highest level of training, collision reconstruction. This training allows deputies to investigate even the most technically challenging collisions and makes them able to testify in court as expert witnesses.
For the first time in the history of the Mason County Sheriff's Office traffic enforcement vehicles are equipped with most of the state of the art equipment to do the job of traffic enforcement and investigation efficiently. All traffic cars are now equipped with forward and rearward looking moving radar sets. Additionally these vehicles are equipped with computers that allow deputies to utilize E-ticketing. E-ticketing gives deputies the capability to scan a driver's license and registration, add information about the violation and location, then submit the ticket electronically to the courts.
The traffic radar trailer is now operational. It is available to neighborhoods who request it. The radar trailer is a small trailer that detects and displays vehicle speed to drivers in an attempt to gain voluntary compliance with local speed limits. Neighborhood representatives wanting to use the radar trailer should contact Sergeant Brad Mandeville at the Mason County Sheriff's Office.