Traffic increases across Interstate 90 and State Route 2 Stevens Pass during the summer months. This weekend there are several large-scale events across the state which will bring in additional traffic. As more vehicles hit the road, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) is launching a three-day speed emphasis patrol to keep everyone safe during their travels. The focus of the efforts is to reduce injury and fatal collisions.
“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.”
Starting Friday June 23 to Sunday, June 25, additional WSP Troopers will be on the lookout for speeders along I-90 from Issaquah to the Idaho state line. 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.
In 2016 in Washington State, there were 537 traffic-related deaths. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, speed was involved in more than 28% of these fatal collisions. 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.
In 2016, the Washington State Patrol contacted 380,296 drivers for speed violations. Troopers wrote 233,527 citations and issued 1,452 written warnings. More than 145,000 drivers received a verbal warning from troopers.
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.
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