Through a variety of programs and projects, WTSC delivers traffic related services to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Agencies participating with WTSC include local, county, tribal, state and federal (to include military) law enforcement jurisdictions. Priorities include traffic law enforcement training, impaired driver detection and apprehension, speed enforcement, safety restraint use and aggressive driving prevention. Specific programs are targeted at needs identified through data and research, legislative action, surveys of law enforcement executives and emerging innovative projects.
Training: Contracted through the WA Criminal Justice Training Commission and includes speed enforcement/radar & laser, several levels of collision investigation, DUI detection and apprehension and grant acquisition. Training is provided at both CJTC campus and through regional training. A complete course listing may be found at: http://wa.gov/cjtc . Other training is made available for specialized needs at various locations. Specialized training is advertised statewide. Contact WTSC at 360-753-6197 for special needs.
WTSC has produced a number of short "Roll-Call" videos for law enforcement agencies on a variety of traffic related topics such as DUI laws, Road Rage, Drugs and Driving, Railroad Crossing Safety, Youth DUI Enforcement, Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement and others. See the main page of this web site for ordering information. There is no cost to law enforcement agencies.
DUI Prevention: In addition to DUI related training, Funding is made available to law enforcement agencies throughout the state for DUI Emphasis Patrols at times and locations identified as "high risk." Currently, 110 agencies participate in this on-going program. Funding applications are available in September.
DUI prevention among youth is addressed through a multi-agency project entitled "Reducing Underage Drinking." This is a community based project with a network of 13 communities working together to prevent underage drinking. Funding is provided for education, targeted enforcement, retail sales enforcement and training of law enforcement, community leaders and retail sales personnel.
A recent project initiated by the Seattle Police Dept. is testing the feasibility of using computer databases to track DUI offenders who fail to appear for court action. Offenders who fail to appear, will be tracked and arrest warrants served.
Safety Restraint Use: Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to promote the use of seat belt, child car seats and booster seats. See the WTSC seat belt section for further details.
School Zone Speed Enforcement: In 1996, the Washington State Legislature, concerned about the safety of school children, doubled the monetary penalty for speeding in school zones. Legislation provided for half of the fine amount to go to the WTSC to improve safety in school zones. Based on that additional funding, WTSC provided grant funding to law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement both through personnel and necessary equipment. Since the law's inception, the number of infractions (citations) has increased 10 times from pre-legislation levels. This continues to be an on-going WTSC project. It doesn't pay to speed in school zones!
Aggressive Driving/Road Rage: Frequently the terms "Aggressive Driving" and "Road Rage" are used interchangeably. Aggressive driving is "Driving in a manner likely to cause injury or property damage" and is frequently cited under the state's negligent or reckless driving statutes. Road Rage is "A criminal act instigated by a real or perceived traffic incident." Simply, one is bad driving; the other is a criminal act.
WTSC has provided funding for the Washington State Patrol Aggressive Driver Apprehension Team (ADAT). The ADAT team is equipped with completely unmarked enforcement vehicles in every section of the state for the purpose of detecting and apprehending aggressive drivers. Additional efforts include several statewide studies of the "aggressive driver" issue, educational material, speakers and videos to every high school in the state and an on-going research and intervention project targeted specifically at aggressive drivers.
Automated (Photo) Enforcement: In 2001, the Washington State Legislature directed WTSC to conduct a pilot study of automated enforcement in 5 locations throughout the state. Legislation provided for photo enforcement at red lights and for use in speed enforcement at schools, construction zones and railroad grade crossings. This project is on going with a report to the legislature available in January 2003.
While public involvement is limited in law enforcement activities, opportunities exist at the city and county level for participation in "citizen speed watch" programs and other community policing activity. Contact your local law enforcement agencies.
Law enforcement agencies have benefited greatly from citizen involvement in reporting traffic hazards, reckless and dangerous drivers using cell phone. Call 911 if you see hazards or dangerous drivers. Most 911 cell phone calls are routed to the Washington State Patrol dispatch centers who will, in turn, forward your call to the appropriate responding agency.