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Washington State News

Washington Kicks Off Two State Highway Safety Campaigns

Release from Gov. Jay Inslee’s Office
June 8, 2024

OLYMPIA – In response to record traffic deaths, excessive highway debris, and other irresponsible driving patterns, Washington State agencies are urging drivers to adjust course.


The state Department of Ecology reminds drivers to “secure your load,”. Spilled cargo causes over 300 crashes and 30 injuries each year in Washington state. Unsecured loads also contribute to roadway litter. Ecology found an average of 73,580 pieces of litter per mile of highway in 2022. They picked up more than 5.6 million pounds of trash in 2023.

No less destructive were the 37,758 cigarette butts counted by Ecology last year. Three-quarters of wildfires on state lands last year were human-caused; discarded cigarette butts were a common denominator.

The Washington State Patrol’s “90 Dangerous Days” campaign encourages drivers to slow down, put down distractions, and never drive impaired. On average, 65 Washingtonians die monthly during June, July, and August since 2018. In total, 810 Washingtonians died last year from roadway accidents – a 33-year record. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission cited impairment as a leading factor in 400 of those deaths. Excessive speed led to 251 deaths, and distraction led to 125 deaths.

Weekend events were stark reminders of the dangers of impaired driving. In Pierce County, impaired drivers caused three separate collisions within three hours, each driving the wrong way, against traffic, on a major roadway. Two innocent people died.

A map of fatal crashes across Washington state in 2023

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission counted 733 fatal crashes accounting for 810 deaths in Washington state in 2023.


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