By By RACHEL LA CORTE OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Senate panel is weighing a measure that would make it a felony charge to drive under the influence when the driver has three prior offenses within 10 years…. …read more
From: AP Washington News
Traffic accidents on County roads in Grays Harbor were at a record low last year, according to preliminary data released by the County.
There were 99 reported traffic accidents on County roads during the past year with no deaths, as compared with 109 accidents and three (3) deaths the previous year (2012).
Traffic accidents have declined 70% from a modern day record high of 343 accidents in 1976 to the record low of 99 accidents in 2013.
The reduction in accidents is the result of educational programs that have made people better drivers, DUI laws and more enforcement, improved vehicles and roads.
Injury accidents have declined 85% from 240 in 1976 to 37 reported last year. Seatbelt usage has been the major factor in this reduction, along with airbags and other improvements to vehicles.
The traffic accident rate per mile driven was 4½ times greater in 1976 as compared to 2013.
Accidents involving alcohol/drugs, speeding, granting right of way and driving over centerline have decreased significantly whereas accidents involving inattention, weather and defective equipment have not changed significantly in the past 20 years.
These state programs and legislation are an important part of this decline:
1971 Habitual Traffic Offender Law
1984 Mandatory Child Restraint law for Children Less than Age One
1986 Mandatory Seat Belt Law
1989 DUI youth Lose License for 90 Days or Until Age 19
1990 Mandatory Insurance Required
1993 Enforcement of Pedestrian Crosswalk Law
1995 Law Enforcement Authorized to Take Blood of DUI Suspect
1998 Drivers Arrested with BAC of 0.08 or Above
2000 Graduated Driver Licenses Law for Teens, Booster Seat Law, Target Zero Program
2001 Intermediate Drivers License Guidelines
2002 Click It or Ticket Program
2006 Impaired Driving Program, Night Time Seat Belt Enforcement Program
2007 Occupant Protection Program, Speeding Program “Slow Down or Pay Up”
Even though the Federal Target Zero Program seems unrealistic, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff Department is committed to reducing accidents and saving lives through education, awareness and enforcement programs.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission recently asked people what the goal should be for the number of traffic deaths in Washington. Everyone indicated they would like to see fewer people killed. But when asked what the goal should be for their family members, everyone responded, “zero.” (Well, almost everyone. Visit www.WAdrivetozero.com to see what residents think about zero traffic deaths).
To reach zero traffic deaths takes effort from everyone. Please join law enforcement in working toward zero traffic deaths. Make sure all the people at your Thanksgiving table are also around to celebrate the New Year. Visit www.WAdrivetozero.com to review important safety tips, such as:
*Call 911 if you see a suspected DUI driver on the roads.
*If you drink, use marijuana, or take other drugs, don’t drive. Make plans before-hand for how you’ll get around.
*If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests get home safely! Plan to have sober designated drivers available. Buy a few extra air mattresses so guests can stay the night. If it’s an office party, limit alcohol, provide shuttle service or book hotel rooms. Remember, as a party host, you are liable for the actions of the people who leave your party intoxicated.
*Talk with your children about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Help them understand the ways alcohol and marijuana use can harm their bodies, their brains, and their future. Let them know that they can call you instead of ever getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, using marijuana or taking drugs. WEBSITE: Start Talking Now
*Give the best gift of all at the Holiday Season with the Designated Driver Gift Card.
*Addiction is a complex issue. If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol, marijuana or drug abuse, call or check ONLINE- the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1 (866) 789-1511.
November 22, 2013/Washington Traffic Safety Commission News Release