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Extra patrols expected weekly through 2008

Washington state law enforcement agencies will begin stepping up speeding and impaired driving enforcement in areas that are hot spots for violations, including several along U.S. Highway 101 near Sequim.

The coordinated launch, called X-52, will create ongoing, high-visibility patrol efforts to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Sheriff's offices, police departments and tribal nations are receiving $450,000 in federal funding for the extra enforcement.

The program will focus on speeders and impaired drivers.

"Drunk drivers don't just kill on holidays," Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said. "They destroy families every single week of the year. Washington drivers should all know that if they get behind the wheel after drinking or are driving too fast, extra patrols will be looking for them every week, not just during holiday peaks."

Law enforcement agencies are coordinating their efforts to canvas as many high-incident locations as possible. The cohesive approach was successfully used in a pilot project enforcing speed law in Pierce and Snohomish counties last year.

"Our goal is to have zero traffic fatalities on our roads, and X-52 will help us get there," director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission Lowell Porter said.

Porter added that X-52 is just one additional strategy used to reduce fatal crashes as part of Target Zero, Washington's Strategic Highway Safety Plan with a goal of zero deaths and zero disabling injuries by 2030.

For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit www.wtsc.wa.gov.







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