Captain Monica Alexander
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax

*** For Immediate Release***

Date: September 21, 2016
Contact: Kyle Moore
Phone: (360) 596-4013
Twitter: @wastatepatrol

High Visibility Enforcement Campaign Along I-5 in Tacoma

Tacoma -- Washington State Patrol (WSP) Troopers will be out in force for two days along a stretch of I-5 near the Tacoma Mall to keep drivers safe.

Starting on Wednesday September 21 and extending to Thursday September 22, 2016, Motorcycle Troopers will patrol the freeway for four hour sessions. It's called a High Visibility Enforcement Effort (HiVE) and will occur along Northbound and Southbound I-5 between Portland Avenue East and South 56th Street.

10 Motorcycle Troopers will patrol the roadway on:

According to statistics, the two-mile stretch of freeway has one of the highest collision rates in the area. Between 2011-2015 and during the months of September and October, the WSP responded to 522 collisions along this two mile stretch of freeway. These are collisions that caused property damage, injury or serious injury.

Troopers will target behaviors that lead to collisions, including distracted driving and speeding. In 2015, Washington State saw a 30.8% increase in fatal collisions involving distracted driving. Last year, speed was responsible for 28% of the state's 567 traffic fatalities.

"Collisions are preventable," says WSP Assistant Chief Sass who oversees the Field Operations Bureau. "If we can save just one life, we have saved a family from the grief of losing a loved one. A simple change in driving behavior can reduce collisions and keep everyone who uses the road safe."

While citations will be given to drivers, the WSP's main focus is to educate drivers and change their behavior. Research proves education and high visibility law enforcement has a positive effect on driver's behavior.

In 2015, Washington experienced a 23% increase in traffic fatalities from the previous year, the highest number since 2007. This rise in fatalities is troubling as the WSP and other agencies throughout the state work towards the Target Zero goal of zero deaths and serious injuries along the state roadways by 2030.

Target zero focuses on four "E's" or strategies to bring about change including:

The Washington State Patrol will continue to run these HiVE operations to try and cut down on collisions and protect drivers and passengers from injury and death. During our campaign, drivers are asked to be aware of the additional enforcement activity and drive safely.