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First year of Target Zero campaign results in 3,400 arrests; drop in fatal crashes

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on June 30, 2011 at 11:23 am with 10 Comments »
June 30, 2011 12:16 pm

Washington State Patrol troopers as well as local law enforcement officers arrested about 3,400 suspected drunken drivers during the first half of a two-year, federally-funded campaign against intoxicated drivers.

The arrests were made by the members of three Target Zero teams, which operate in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

The first year of the Target Zero Teams also saw a reduction of fatal car crashes when compared to each of the previous five years. An average of 203 people died in crashes in each of the previous years in the three counties. In the year since Target Zero launched July 1, 2010, the number of fatally crashes has dropped to 133.

“These are real numbers that represent real people,” State Patrol Chief John Batiste said during a press briefing this morning. “That’s 70 times we haven’t had to knock on someone’s door to say a loved one is dead.”

The Target Zero campaign is a two-year project funded by a $6 million grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project ends June 30, 2012.

Six State Patrol troopers and one sergeant are assigned full time to each of three Target Zero teams. They are assisted – when time and resources allow – by local law enforcement 0fficers. Members of the teams are out each night, looking for suspected drunken drivers. They patrol not only on the state highways but also city streets and county roadways.

The teams use mapping software to focus their enforcement efforts on areas where drunken driving crashes have occurred in the past.

During Thursday’s press briefing, leaders said the multi-agency, highly-visible strategy seems to be working. They point to the reduction of traffic-related deaths in the first year.

“It has really exceeded our expectations of this project,” said Lowell Porter, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Porter noted that while the Target Zero teams contributed significantly to the reduction, other programs and enforcement efforts also are helping.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to save lives,” Porter said.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. tonnibell says:

    YEAH to our “Patrol” officers ! ! A long awaited team has hit the streets a year ago and WOW! Amazing and very well spent money, no matter who it comes from!!!

  2. It’s good that we’re saving a bunch of lives with this program but what about the tragic loss of income for attorneys? Fewer deaths, fewer injuries, and fewer criminal charges might have a substantial negative impact on the trial lawyer industry. Isn’t anyone concerned about them? ;)

  3. Rowdy_Rob says:

    How many caught in this are repeat offenders? Then again, does it really matter as the system seems to give them repeated chances to rehabilitate themselves (read: a slap on the wrist)…

  4. gonefishin69690 says:

    Actually, pretty impressive! And jjrock, have you every had to hire a DUI attorney? It’s not cheap, I think they’ll be ok.

  5. Now they need an anti-texting patrol and they will save even more lives…

  6. My friend owns a pub he has seen MANY Seattle pd members drink then drive. My other friend is a bartender who has seen MANY Wsp members drink and then drive! Can you say outrageous inconsistancies and hypocrits!?! Remember David Brame, Allen Myron and Seattle pd Sgt. Moss, among dozens of others (just the ones who were caught)!!!!!

  7. The reduction in deaths has nothing to do with these people! With obumos recession people are driving MUCH less now!

  8. tonnibell says:

    JJROCK, why would the normal citizen be concerned about how much money the attorneys may lose? Its about saving lives not keeping attorneys in business.
    MUDBONE, there will always be a few bad apples.

  9. gonefishin69690 says:

    Mudbone may just have a valid point there. My wife is a bartender and business is and has been down about 35-40% over the last year at least and so has her tips. People don’t have money to DRINK or DRIVE!

  10. Reaganomics says:

    Mudbone is a troll. He is probably 3400. If some of the cops drive drunk it just shows that they are human too. We have seen time and again cops getting busted for it, so they are not immune. And if your buddies are overserving then they deserves to get shut down. Feel free to share their names so the liquor control board can get to work on them.

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