Target Zero Teams: 70 Lives Saved in King, Pierce, Snohomish Counties

June 30, 2011

Are you one of the 70? Is your spouse? How about your children? Your teacher?

Any of those could be among the 70 people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties whose lives were saved since Target Zero Teams hit the streets one year ago. The $6 million demonstration project was launched July 1, 2010.

“We expected to see a reduction, of course. But this exceeds our expectations for the project,” said Lowell Porter, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. “70 lives in just three counties, in just one year.”

Of course it’s impossible to know exactly who wasn’t killed. But it is possible to say how many weren’t.

In each of the five years prior to launching the Target Zero Teams, an average of 203 people died in traffic in the three test counties. In the year immediately following launch, the number dropped to 133.

The Commission also found that deaths in King, Pierce and Snohomish compared favorably to two similar counties that were pre-designated as control counties for the Target Zero Teams demonstration project. Finally, while traffic deaths are trending down statewide and nationwide, the drop seen in the Target Zero counties is steeper than the general trend.

“We now believe this high-visibility enforcement strategy is impacting all crashes, not just DUIs,” Porter said. “When police are out in force, drivers tend to slow down and buckle up. That saves even more lives.”

At the core of the teams are 21 Washington State Troopers and sergeants, augmented by local sheriff’s deputies and city police officers as time and funding permit. The teams patrol in very specific places: areas where drunk drivers have killed in the past.
During the past year, Target Zero Teams from all agencies have arrested more than 3,400 impaired drivers. But State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste is quick to add that Target Zero is about much more than just making arrests.

“From day one we’ve said we would measure success by a reduction in fatalities,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “These interim results make us think we’re on the right track, and we look forward to final results after another year of hard work.”

Patrols are not limited to freeways or state highways. Troopers, deputies and officers go where the data leads them. That means state troopers might be patrolling city streets, or city officers on the freeway.


Family hopes their tragedy will push drivers to “look twice” for motorcycles

June 27, 2011

Need another reason to look twice for motorcycles? Robert Peffley’s family is sharing one from the heart; a story told in videos that are part of the state’s Look Twice, Save a Life motorcycle safety campaign.

In the summer of 2007, Peffley was riding his motorcycle near his Lynnwood home when a car turned in front of his bike, killing him.

Cathi Dykstra knows that the cause of her son’s death is a familiar one. So often, drivers  involved in these type of serious injury or fatality crashes with motorcycles say they never saw the rider. Just days ago, on Saturday, June 25, a 41-year old Port Orchard man was killed after a car crossed the center line on State Route 3 just north of Belfair, striking him.

Dykstra hopes that Pef’s story will reach people in a way that statistics and collision reports might not. Emotionally.

“When (doctors) took me in to see him and there he was, and all the light was gone. But there he was.  He was my baby boy…but not,” Dykstra shared on camera. 

After her brother’s death, Kimberly Peffley changed  her career path.  She now manages a motorcycle safety school, and calls her new job part of her therapy.

“I feel like I wanted to protect anyone out there who wanted to ride because he loved it so much,” Peffley said.

The Look Twice,  Save a Life campaign is sponsored by the state Department of Licensing, State Patrol and the Traffic Safety Commission.


State motorcycle safety campaign gears up

June 21, 2011

On the heels of a fatal motorcycle crash Tuesday morning in Lacey, state traffic safety leaders say motorists and motorcyclists both have roles in sharing the road responsibly.

The Department of Licensing and State Patrol today released a public service announcement and new poster focused on reducing drug or alcohol impairment of riders – one of the top causes of fatal motorcycle crashes. Excessive speed, another top cause of fatal crashes, was a major factor in the Tuesday morning crash.

The DOL video also speaks to the importance of riding safely and getting the necessary training and driver license endorsement to legally operate a motorcycle. To operate a motorcycle on a public road in Washington, riders must have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their driver license.

Licensing will release another public service announcement next week, focused on the campaign’s theme, “Look Twice. Save a Life.” encouraging motorists to be aware of motorcyclists. That message will also be brought to Washington drivers through messages on the sides of transit buses, freeway message board signs and billboards.

There are about 230,000 motorcycles registered in Washington, a 29 percent increase from 2003.

The video can be seen at DOL’s website, or YouTube channel.


It’s time to renew: 2011 boat decals expire June 30

June 3, 2011

Everett Marina with Mt. BakerSummer boating is right around the corner, and so is the deadline for renewing boat and watercraft registration decals. In Washington state, all boat registrations expire on June 30.

Boat registrations can be renewed online and in person at a neighborhood vehicle licensing office. Those who choose to renew in an office should make sure to note the registration number on the bow of the boat or watercraft and take that information to the office.

Renewing online is fast, easy and secure. Boat owners who have not yet signed up to receive an email renewal notice for their boat can do that on the Department of Licensing website, too.


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