Enforcement · Target Zero
Target Zero is the state’s strategic highway safety plan, and calls for reducing highway deaths to zero by the year 2030. The entire plan can be found at www.targetzero.com.
Enforcement is one of four equal strategies of Target Zero, along with engineering, education and emergency medical service. Enforcement is the responsibility of police agencies at all levels.
Under Target Zero, state troopers, county sheriff’s deputies and city and tribal police officers will focus on those violations proven to cause fatal or serious injury collisions.
These are the “low hanging fruit” of traffic safety. Violators are easy to spot, and a majority of highway deaths have one of these violations as a contributing factor.
(While the failure to wear a seat belt does not cause collisions, it certainly contributes to deaths in collisions that would have otherwise been survivable.)
This data-driven approach to traffic safety means that traffic officers will spend the bulk of their time looking for these three violations. However, they will not ignore other violations. Aggressive driving, distracted driving and even equipment violations all have contributed to their share of highway tragedies.
Target Zero Teams
The Target Zero Teams first rolled out in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in July 2010, as a demonstration project with the goal to reduce fatal and serious injury collisions caused by impaired drivers. After completing the original two year project, it’s estimated more than 100 lives were saved because of the teams. In 2012, the Washington Legislature fully funded the Target Zero Teams to continue their work in the King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
Starting in July 2013, the Target Zero Teams expanded to the Yakima and Spokane counties as part of a two-year project funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The core of each of these Target Zero Teams are troopers and sergeants of the Washington State Patrol working full time at locations where history shows the most DUI fatalities or serious collisions involving a DUI have occurred. Included on the teams are county and local deputies or officers who will contribute as time and resources permit.
See the Target Zero emphasis patrol areas:
The Target Zero Teams are more than just DUI squads of the past. The successes of the teams come from:
The team’s measure of success will not be simply arresting a high number of DUIs; it will come from the reduction in DUI-related fatalities.