Target Zero's Enforcement Plan to Prevent Fatalities

Target Zero is Washington State’s highway safety plan that strategizes to reduce highway deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2030.

There are four strategies of the plan – engineering, enforcement, education and emergency medical service. The four “E’s.” Enforcement, particularly, is responsible for police agencies at all levels.

Under Target Zero, state troopers, county sheriff’s deputies, city and tribal police officers will focus on those violations: driving while impaired, speeding and failure to wear a seat belt. Highway deaths are usually due to one of these violations.

This data-driven approach to traffic safety means that traffic officers will spend the majority of their time looking for these three violations (they will not be regarding other violations though).

Thirty-five police agencies launched Target Zero Teams (TZT) in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties last year. Each team has a goal - to reduce the number of deaths caused by impaired drivers. Of the Washington State Patrol, there are 18 troopers and three sergeants. They will be on look out at dangerous locations.

Locations have been mapped where fatal and serious injury crashes have occurred, along with DUI arrests. They’ve created enforcement zones to guide officers.

In order to be efficient, The Target Zero Teams also include two Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors who are experts in presenting DUI cases in court. They work with TZT members to make sure their investigations and the reports they write are compliant with the latest court rulings Clark and Spokane counties are considered as “control counties.” Police officers in those counties will enforce DUI laws just as they normally do in their routine. Researchers will study whether the TZT model creates a decline in fatalities in comparison to regular enforcement.

Click here to read "No More Traffic-Related Deaths or Injury by 2030, Based on Target Zero" to get a full overview of the plan.

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