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Speeding drivers targeted: 'Slow down or pay up'

Police departments in King County will inundate area roads, highways, and interstates with extra police patrols targeting speeding drivers beginning Friday and continuing through Aug. 1 as part of the statewide “Slow down or pay up” campaign.

The campaign’s goal is to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes in Washington by the year 2030.

"Speeding may seem like a quick and effective shortcut, but in fact it is a leading cause of traffic deaths and injuries in King County and Washington State," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. "Speed-related crashes harm individuals, families, and communities, and many people hurt in these crashes suffer life altering trauma and never recover fully."

The emphasis patrols over the next month are a key component of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Target Zero. The vision of Target Zero is zero deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes in Washington by the year 2030. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission funds the extra patrols.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, from 2006 – 2008, speeding drivers killed 140 people in King County crashes, an average of four deaths a month. These speeding-involved crashes accounted for 44% of traffic deaths in King County for that period.

The following police agencies in King County will conduct “Slow down or pay up” patrols: Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Pacific, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, Snoqualmie, Tukwila, and the Washington State Patrol District 2.

“Enforcing traffic laws saves lives,” said Lieutenant Nick Almquist, Redmond Police Department, Traffic Unit. “From north to south and east to west, police departments are working together to enforce speed limits and make King County roads safer.”

“Driving is a complex skill, demanding your complete attention,” said Cesi Velez, South King County Target Zero Manager, Kent Police Department. “Slow down and watch for sudden stops when traffic is heavy or the road has limited sight distance. Avoid tailgating by leaving a car’s length between you and the car in front of you for every 10 mph you’re traveling. Road conditions and weather may also require a driver to slow down.”

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