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Is less traffic enforcement leading to more crashes in Seattle?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents |

In Seattle, when the Department of Transportation, lawmakers and safety advocates think about how and why auto accidents with injuries and fatalities happen, they frequently focus on driver behavior. This is understandable given how often distraction, recklessness, speeding, drowsiness and DUIs cause accidents.

However, there are other factors that should be considered when assessing the numbers. One that has recently been discussed is the lack of enforcement by police. If people are not cited for dangerous behaviors, it is logical to ask if it is giving them the freedom to continue doing the same things. This should be weighed after an accident.

Recent statistics show decline in traffic tickets in Seattle

According to the numbers, police in Seattle have significantly reduced the number of citations they are giving out. In 2022, there were just under 3,900 tickets given by Seattle police. This was around 90% fewer than just a few years ago.

Some claim this is based on certain lawmakers’ attempts to rein in police. In 2022, there were 28 road fatalities and approximately 10,000 collisions. There were 30 road deaths in 2021. This was the worst total in 15 years.

SDOT is looking at its Vision Zero program to determine why it is not as effective as hoped. The program objective is to put an end to traffic fatalities by 2030. As the statistics show, it is having a rough go of it. Advocates for the program are trying to alter the way roads are designed to enhance safety instead of having law enforcement simply ticket drivers after they have violated the law.

Determining the cause and gathering evidence is key after an auto accident

People who have been hurt in an auto accident or lost a loved one will want answers. The traffic laws are in place for a reason and if they are being violated, it is important that law enforcement, lawmakers and state agencies like the SDOT take steps to address it.

As the numbers show, the lack of enforcement could be a catalyst for the worrisome rise in accidents. With the long-term challenges people experience, it is vital to have advice in assessing the incident, accruing evidence and knowing how to pursue compensation. Contacting professionals who specialize in motor vehicle accidents can help.