Port Angeles — The Northwest Olympic Peninsula, home to Olympic National Park and scenic ocean beaches, is one of Washington State’s most beautiful and visited places. With that fact come the increased volumes of traffic and potential for collisions of all variety. In addition, the area has a large presence of commercial vehicle traffic due to the shipping and logging industries that call the area home.
A substantial increase in injury and fatality collisions involving both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles in the area has troopers and other stakeholders including DOT, Clallam County Traffic Safety, Olympic National Park, Clallam County Fire District 2, along with representatives of the commercial trucking industry and citizens, looking for ways to partner and reverse this trend.
January 1, 2017 through November 1, 2017 produced 113 total collisions in the area which includes US101, SR112, SR113 and SR110. A 30% increase over the same period in 2016. Additionally, while there were no commercial vehicles involved in a fatality collision in the area during 2016, of the same period in 2017 there were six fatality collisions, four involving commercial vehicles.
While there are numerous contributing factors in all of these collisions, speed, improper passing, failing to yield and improperly secured loads have been leading factors.
Troopers, along with commercial vehicle officers will be targeting the area Wednesday November 15, looking for these and other violations in an effort to stem the tide of serious injury and fatality collisions. Within the National Park boundaries ONP officers will be targeting the same violations on US101 and the Lake Crescent area.
All of these stakeholders will continue to partner, working to identify contributing factors, devising and implementing possible solutions to make traveling in the area safe for all motorists.