Traffic Crash Deaths in State, County Continue to Decline


One death is too many. Yet there are still reasons — to continue — to cheer a plummeting number of deaths on our roads.

The Washington State Patrol reported this morning that vehicle deaths are “down markedly” in the first three months of 2009. That includes Washington, where 91 died in the first three months on roads, down from 108 in the same period in 2008.

Marsha Masters, head of the local MADD chapter, has just informed me that by May 19, 2008, we had 10 roadway fatalities. In the first four months of this year, we’ve had four.

The numbers were brought to the state patrol by way of the the National Safety Council.

To see a map and database of those who died on Kitsap’s roads in 2008, click here.

Here’s more from the Washington State Patrol’s release:

“With summer rapidly approaching and generally accompanied by an increase
in fatal and injury collisions, we appeal to Washingtonians to continue to drive
responsibly,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste. “We also want
you to know our troopers remain vigilant to the use of strict enforcement in
order to change bad driver behavior and to ultimately save lives in our pursuit
of Target Zero.”

Target Zero is a combined effort of Law Enforcement, the Department of
Transportation (DOT), Department of Licensing, the Washington Traffic Safety
Commission, and many others to eliminate traffic fatalities and disabling
injuries by 2030.

There are many contributing factors to the reduction of traffic fatalities and
disabling injuries.  When DOT designs a road they do so with the safety of the
motoring public in mind.  The rapid response of Emergency Medical Services
getting the trained personnel with the proper life saving equipment to a
collision scene is also a major contributor to saving lives.  The safety products
built into today’s motor vehicles, such as air bags and anti-lock brakes, also
add to the reduction in traffic fatalities and injuries.  The safety messages
sent out by the Traffic Safety Commission educate the drivers are also helping
reduce this number.

However, the major causes of traffic collisions and fatalities are speed,
aggressive driving, driving while impaired, and following too closely.  These are
all controlled by the drivers.  Make the wise choice this summer; Drive Safely.

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