By Robert Calkins, Washington State Patrol.
Motorists will notice an extra law enforcement presence when driving on two of the country’s most highly traveled interstates during a four-day enforcement campaign in early August.
The Washington State Patrol and law enforcement officials in 14 other states are joining together with a goal of zero deaths on Interstates 90 and 94 between Washington state and New York August 1st to 4th, 2014. That’s more than 5,600 miles of road.
In Washington, regularly scheduled troopers will focus their work time on I-90. A few additional troopers are being brought on specifically for the emphasis patrol.
I-90 splits into two highways, 90 and 94, in Montana. I-94 does not exist by that name in Washington State.
This combined effort is known as the “I-90/94 Challenge.” It’s not a competition between states, but a challenge to drivers to stay safe on one of the country’s busiest highways.
“We will have zero tolerance for the violations we know cause the most deaths and injuries,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “Speed, DUI and the failure to wear seat belts continue to cause preventable tragedies and rip families apart.”
Batiste urged drivers to answer the challenge by tweeting “#9094challenge” when they’ve arrived safely at a destination.
Coordinated by the Minnesota State Patrol, the challenge will use education, awareness and strict enforcement to save lives and remind all motorists to drive safely and obey important traffic laws.
Traffic crashes kill more than 33,000 people each year in the United States. Local, state and national traffic safety officials agree too many of those fatalities are happening on I-90 and I-94.
“The first weekend in August is the mid-point between two other driving holidays- Independence Day and Labor Day,” Batiste said. “We’ll use this emphasis patrol to help drivers maintain good driving habits.”
I-90/94 Challenge is intended to help the International Association of Chiefs of Police reach its goal this year of reducing U.S. traffic fatalities by 15 percent.