Aurora Traffic Safety Project has begun

Beginning at  6:30 a.m. and running all day and evening today, April 14th,  the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol and Washington Liquor Control Board will conduct a major traffic enforcement patrol to deter aggressive and distracted driving on Aurora Avenue North. Specifically the patrol is focusing on the behaviors that contribute to collisions, injuries and deaths along Aurora Avenue such as speeding, following too close, unsafe turns and lane changes, impaired driving (DUI), cell phone usage, texting and other in car distractions.

More than 50 Seattle Police Department personnel are participating, including motorcycle and squad car units, the Aggressive Driver Response Team (ADRT) and the DUI squad. Joining SPD will be six patrol units from the Washington State Patrol and three teams from the Washington Liquor Control Board. A Unified Command Center has been established at North 125th Street and Aurora Avenue North. Law enforcement personnel will be available from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to provide interviews and ride-alongs to members of the media.

Aurora Avenue is a busy thoroughfare with a thriving community. The goal of the emphasis patrol is to promote safe driving behavior, not necessarily to write tickets. In doing so we work together to create a safer environment along the Aurora Corridor. A big part of achieving this goal is getting the safe driving reminder out to drivers well before the emphasis patrol. To do this, project team members are already talking to business owners and neighbors along Aurora Avenue about the patrol to help spread the word in order to improve safety.

The April 14th patrol is part of a two year project to improve safety along Aurora Avenue North. Between April 2005 and March 2008, 1,581 collisions occurred on Aurora between the Battery Street Tunnel and North 145th Street. 

“Since the start of this project, collisions on Aurora Avenue have been reduced by more than 20 percent. We believe that a continued enforcement presence, along with street improvements and educational outreach, will reduce collisions further,” said Captain Belshay of the Seattle Police Department.

The project is designed to reduce collisions, injuries, and deaths on Aurora Avenue using near-term, low cost solutions through engineering, education, and enforcement efforts. The project is a multi-agency effort coordinated by the Seattle Department of Transportation and supported by grants from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

For more information about the project visit www.seattle.gov/aurora