OLYMPIA - The Washington State Patrol this week unveiled a new way for citizens to tell the WSP where they feel aggressive drivers are endangering the roadways.
Citizens can go online at the WSP Web site (www.wsp.wa.gov) and click on a button to report aggressive driving. The Web site provides detailed information, explaining what aggressive driving is and how citizens can help with this aggressive driving campaign.
Tips provided by citizens on hot spots will assist the WSP in enforcement strategies and deployment of officers. Every citizen report will be followed up on.
"Reducing incidents of aggressive driving and road rage are a critical element of the Washington State Patrol's core mission," said Chief Lowell M. Porter in a press release. "The dangerous driving behaviors and risks taken by aggressive drivers lead to loss of life and life threatening injuries to our families, friends, and children."
Porter said when citizens report these hot spots, WSP will use the information to plan enforcement emphasis in specific areas.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has sponsored several studies over the last 30 years attempting to identify causes of roadway collisions. Research consistently reports that driving behavior and/or human factors account for over 90 percent of all collisions. The WSP chief said many of these collisions are preventable.
"We already receive reports from citizens and we take this very seriously," Porter said. "We always use citizen input to determine where our emphasis needs to be. With this new online reporting form, we are taking it one step further to make giving input easier and more accessible. We will take this direct input and get on it right away."
Due to the increase of incidence of aggressive driving, the WSP has an Aggressive Driving Apprehension Team (ADAT), an effort to locate and arrest drivers who are driving aggressively and endangering others. The ADAT program utilizes 37 unmarked/unconventional police vehicles equipped with mobile video cameras to detect and apprehend aggressive drivers. These vehicles are located throughout the state where citizen input through telephone calls and e-mails suggest aggressive driving is more likely to occur.
"We rely on citizen input as to where we place our ADAT vehicles and to where we place our emphasis," Porter said. "We want to hear from as many citizens as possible, which is why we have established this online form as a convenient way for citizens to give us their input."
In 2004, aggressive driving citations were up 54 percent, injury collisions were down 8 percent. Fatal collisions were down 11 percent.
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