OLYMPIA - Chief Ronal Serpas announced last week the Memorial Day weekend saw one fatality in Washington State on our state's highways and interstates. The fatality took place north of Spokane on State Route 2.

In 2002, five people died on Washington highways during Memorial Day Weekend; in 2001 there were 11 fatalities.

"To see the continual reduction each year of deaths on our highways over the holiday weekend is a clear sign that people are driving smarter and safer," said Chief Serpas. "The education and enforcement efforts of the men and women in the WSP are clearly impacting public safety. Their hard work is clearly part of this success."

A major goal of the Washington State Patrol is to reduce fatality and injury collisions during the busy summer holidays by focusing enforcement efforts on individuals driving under the influence (DUI), dangerous speeding, aggressive driving and failing to utilize seatbelts or child safety restraints. Those violations are the four core mission areas of emphasis for the WSP.

Troopers patrolled Washington's roadways in full force over the holiday weekend, strictly enforcing these hazardous violations. WSP troopers used marked and unmarked patrol vehicles, motorcycles, and aircraft during the holiday weekend patrol. Statistics show that in 70 percent of all traffic stops by the WSP, a warning is issued instead of a ticket or a fine.

"As long as there continues to be any loss of life on our highways, we are reminded we still have work to do," said Chief Serpas.

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