KING COUNTY, WA — This Friday and Saturday marks the 20th year that law enforcement agencies throughout Washington have conducted “Night of 1,000 Stars” impaired driving traffic safety emphasis patrols. Each star symbolizes the badge worn by an on duty law enforcement officer.
“Let’s all work to make this a safe holiday season for our families and communities. Last year, 265 people were killed in Washington in impaired driver involved crashes,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. “If you drink, make plans for a sober ride before going out and see that your friends have a safe ride home as well.”
The statewide Night of 1,000 Stars enforcement will remove impaired drivers from local roads. Impaired driving caused by alcohol – or some other drug – is the primary reason why people die in motor vehicle crashes. Officers will also be on the lookout for people who speed, drive aggressively, are not wearing a seatbelt, using cell phones illegally, or violate other traffic laws.
For more than a decade, the King County Target Zero Task Force has brought together law enforcement, public health, and community partners to reduce traffic deaths and injuries through extra patrols and other efforts. On average, 24 fewer people died in traffic crashes in 2007 and 2008, compared to the preceding five years in King County. In partnership with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the Task Force is working towards the Target Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities by the year 2030.
Since 1999, officers, troopers, and deputies who worked these extra patrols have made over 28,600 contacts with dangerous drivers and arrested more than 6,200 impaired drivers in King County.
Agencies in Bellevue, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Seattle, Snoqualmie, the Washington State Patrol and other cities and counties throughout the state will have extra impaired driving patrols this weekend.
This year’s Night of 1,000 Stars Patrols is dedicated to all fallen officers, the Washington officers who have died in the line of duty, and the officers who continue to protect and serve.
“Night of 1,000 Stars is an important dedication to all the law enforcement officers throughout the nation,” said Lieutenant Nick Almquist, Redmond Police Department. “Their selfless decision to protect our communities is being honored, especially our brothers and sisters who have paid the ultimate price with their lives.”
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