Washington Joins Regional Effort to Put the Brakes on Excess Speed Crashes
Washington State Patrol.
With pandemic restrictions beginning to ease, drivers are hitting the road and other vehicles. Speed is the most common contributor to collisions.
Olympia, Washington - While traffic volumes saw significant decreases during the pandemic, speeding was at the root cause of many crashes. Twelve state patrol agencies across the west have come together again to partner as the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition (WSTSC) in a joint speed education and enforcement initiative on June 25th, 26th, and 27th. These dates were chosen to help prevent risky driving behaviors leading into the July 4th holiday and summer of increased travel.
Coalition members have seen the consequences of pandemic-era speeding increases firsthand, most notably a surge in vehicles traveling at 100 mph or more. Excess speed is a major factor contributing to serious and fatal crashes for drivers of all ages, along with speeding-related vehicle rollovers.
“Beautiful weather and summer holidays often bring greater traffic volumes. We expect this year to see significant pent-up demand to get out and get back to our pre-pandemic lifestyles” said John R. Batiste, Chief of the Washington State Patrol. “WSP and our partners in 11 other western states want you to know we are here to help you and your family stay safe this summer. That means there are at least twelve great reasons to slow down, to never drive distracted, and to never drive impaired in the coming summer travel. We are serious about your safety.”
Even with reduced pandemic impacted traffic volumes, WSP responded to over 35,500 collisions and wrote over 313,000 citations for speeding in 2020. Speed contributes to over 25% of all vehicular fatalities nationally and as the nation opens up and more people hit the roads, law enforcement will be proactive in helping bring speeds and subsequent crashes down.
In July 2019, the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition was formed in response to evolving impaired driving issues in addition to aggressive and distracted driving and failing to wear seat belts. The coalition members came together with their neighboring states to show commitment and emphasis on meaningful public education about the dangers of risky and dangerous driving behaviors. The coalition includes the following members:
- Arizona Department of Public Safety
- California Highway Patrol
- Colorado State Patrol
- Idaho State Police
- Montana Highway Patrol
- Nevada Highway Patrol
- North Dakota Highway Patrol
- Oregon State Police
- South Dakota Highway Patrol
- Utah Highway Patrol
- Washington State Patrol
- Wyoming Highway Patrol