Entries by David Fry

Law Enforcement Launch Holiday Patrols for Impaired Drivers

Olympia – Washington law enforcement will launch DUI emphasis patrols beginning December 11. More than 145 law enforcement agencies statewide will add patrols through January 2, searching for drivers who are impaired from alcohol, cannabis or other substances. “Most people believe driving impaired is unacceptable and will make plans for a sober ride when celebrating […]

Changes to Washington’s Child Restraint Law Focus of Child Passenger Safety Week

Traffic Safety Officials helping parents understand and practice changes to the child restraint law OLYMPIA – Changes to Washington’s child passenger restraint law (RCW 46.61.687) take affect January 1, 2020.  Car crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1-13.  Using the right seat can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent.  To […]

Observational Survey Shows Number of Drivers Distracted by Cell Phones Down

Olympia, WA – The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) has released a report on its observational survey of distracted driving performed in June 2018. The survey findings estimate the driver distraction rate was 8.2 percent in 2018, down from 9.2 percent in both 2016 and 2017, although this change was not significant. Driver distraction includes […]

New Cannabis and Alcohol Traffic Safety Culture Study Reveals: Washington Drivers Intervene to Prevent Driving Under the Influence

OLYMPIA, WA [November 29, 2018] – When it comes to driving under the influence of both cannabis and alcohol, most Washingtonians do not believe it is safe and do not engage in this behavior.  That’s according to a new study of Washington’s traffic safety culture, commissioned by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC).  The study […]

Washington State’s Dr. Darrin Grondel Elected as Chair of GHSA

New Chair takes the helm as Association debuts updated policies and priorities WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Darrin Grondel, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), was elected to chair the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia late last month. Grondel will serve a one-year term for GHSA, […]

Washington Increases DUI Patrols Leading Up to Labor Day Weekend

New report shows spike in percentage of fatal crashes caused by drivers impaired by multiple substances OLYMPIA, WA – Law enforcement agencies across Washington will increase DUI (Driving Under the Influence) patrols August 17 through September 3 to keep drivers safe during what is typically the deadliest time of the year on the state’s roadways. […]

New Report Shows Multiple Drug Use Responsible for One in Four Washington Traffic Deaths in 2016

State traffic safety advocates advise caution as “420 Day” approaches, an unofficial celebration dedicated to cannabis Olympia – The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) released a report today on the significant increase of multiple drug (alcohol and other intoxicants), or poly-drug use, in drivers involved in deadly crashes. Driver impairment is the most common factor […]

Washington Law Enforcement Steps Up Patrols for Distracted Driving

Cell phone use while driving increases risk of crashing by three times Olympia, WA – On the road, off the phone—That’s the message from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) as they announce extra patrols focused on distracted driving, April 2-14, 2018. Statewide, over 150 law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for […]

Distracted Driving Law Warning Period Ends

Washington Drivers Caught Using Phones While Driving Will Now Receive $136 Ticket Olympia, WA [January 23, 2018] – Today marks six-months since Governor Inslee signed the state’s new distracted driving law.  Washington State Patrol (WSP) has ended the grace period for Washington drivers caught using electronic devices while driving. State Patrol and law enforcement officers […]

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Patrols August 18 – September 4

OLYMPIA, WA –  Each summer in Washington State, an average of 149 people die in traffic crashes. That is the deadliest season of the year on our roads. During all of 2016, impaired drivers were involved in crashes that resulted in 277 deaths and another 371 serious injuries. These crashes are tragic and adding to […]

Motorcycle Safety Patrols Begin July 28

OLYMPIA, WA — More motorcycles travel on Washington’s roads in the summer months than any other time of the year. Unfortunately, summer is also the time when more motorcycle riders are killed or injured in crashes. In an effort to reduce these crashes, increased motorcycle safety patrols start July 28, and run through August 13 […]

Washington Traffic Safety Commission Honors Tahoma Senior High School Senior

OLYMPIA, WA — Washington Traffic Safety Commission Director Darrin T. Grondel honored Tierra Wilson, a student at Tahoma Senior High School, for her work to improve traffic safety among her peers. Ms. Wilson was recognized during Senior Awards Night at her high school on May 31, 2017. Ms. Wilson also won the $2,500 Safe Driving […]

Click It or Ticket Seat Belt Enforcement: Keeping Families Alive

OLYMPIA, WA ~ As Washingtonians prepare for upcoming summer travel, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission emphasizes the simplest step in keeping families safe: buckle up. The national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign will take place May 22 through June 4, concurrent with Memorial Day, one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends […]

Statement of the WTSC on Gov. Jay Inslee Signing the “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act”

OLYMPIA – The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) released the following statement from Director Darrin Grondel, in response to Governor Jay Inslee signing the “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (SB 5289)” today. “Distracted driving is a major cause of crashes on Washington’s highways.  The new distracted driving law signed by the governor today […]

Moms Can Lead the Drive to End Distracted Driving

OLYMPIA –The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) today called on mothers to take the lead in modeling safe driving behavior for their children by not holding a mobile phone or texting while they are driving. “All mothers want their children to be safe,” said Erika Mascorro, program manager for WTSC. “Mother’s Day is the perfect […]

Washington State Award Winners Lead the Way On Improving Driver Licensing and Testing Standards

OLYMPIA – On Monday, March 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) honored two Washington State citizen advocates with the NHTSA Public Service Award at the 2017 Lifesavers Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Citizen advocates Mi Ae Lipe of Bothell, WA, and Mark Butcher of Sammamish, WA each received […]

New Statewide Survey Shows Cell Phone Use Greatest Cause of Distracted Driving

OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) released the results today of a first-ever statewide observational survey of distracted drivers. The survey found that cell phone use is the most common type of distraction, with 71 percent of distracted drivers engaged with their phones while operating their vehicles. Statewide, nearly 1 out of […]

Drugs Increase as a Factor in Traffic Deaths

Drunk, Drugs, or High, it’s a DUI Extra DUI Patrols in Force for the Holidays KING COUNTY, WA – Law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in extra patrols aimed at getting DUI drivers off the roads over this holiday season from December 15 to January 1. “The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) funds […]

Tie Into Traffic Safety

Has a pebble ever hit your windshield? Isn’t it startling how such a tiny object can inflict such immediate and significant damage? Now imagine instead of a pebble hitting your windshield, it’s a ladder, wheelbarrow, hammer, stack of wood, mattress or a piece of furniture. Now, imagine you and your family are driving behind a […]

Buckle Up! Your Family is Waiting for You!

The following news release is a sample of the release sent to Kitsap County. Localized releases were sent statewide. “Buckle Up! Your Family is Waiting for You!” High School Senior Helps Launch Statewide Seat Belt Campaign Pierce County, WA –What would you do if you knew that some of your friends were carelessly putting themselves […]

NHTSA Honors Safety Champions at Lifesavers Conference

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) presented 16 individuals and organizations with the NHTSA Public Service Award at today’s 34th Annual Lifesavers Conference. The agency’s top public service award recognizes the tireless efforts and outstanding contributions many people make to improve highway safety throughout the country. […]

If You’re Texting, You’re Not Driving

The following news release is a sample of the release sent to Kitsap County. Localized releases were sent statewide. KITSAP COUNTY, WA – Heads up, Washington! April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, so make a commitment to leave your cell phone alone while you’re driving. Not only is it dangerous, but with extra officers looking […]

Include a Safe and Sober Ride Home in Your Holiday Festivities

The following news release is a sample of the release sent to Yakima and Klickitat Counties. Localized releases were sent statewide. Yakima and Klickitat Counties, WA – The holiday season is nearly upon us, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) would like to remind Washingtonians to plan ahead and use alternative transportation after drinking […]

Report Examines Marijuana Positive Drivers Involved in Deadly Crashes

Olympia, WA – Since Washington legalized the adult use of recreational marijuana, many have asked the Washington Traffic Safety Commission how this change may impact traffic safety. The Commission took the first step toward understanding the issue by releasing a new report today providing a detailed examination of marijuana positive drivers involved in deadly crashes. […]

Marijuana Increased in 2014 as a Factor in Deadly Crashes

Olympia, WA – Newly released data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) shows that marijuana is increasing as a factor in deadly crashes. The number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 48 percent from 2013 to 2014. “We have seen marijuana involvement in fatal crashes remain steady over […]

“U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign to begin in April

Olympia, WA – For the second year in a row, more than 100 law enforcement agencies in Washington State will be cracking down on distracted drivers as part of the national distracted driving enforcement campaign. Between April 1 and April 15, high visibility enforcement efforts will target motorists who are observed talking on handheld cell […]

Toward Zero Deaths – TZD

WASHINGTON D.C. – The National Strategy on Highway Safety, called Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), was officially rolled out today nationwide. The TZD plan provides countermeasures in education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS) for organizations, businesses and individuals to reduce deaths on our roadways from over 33,000 each year to zero. “The philosophy behind […]

Survey Says: Marijuana and Driving Don’t Mix

Skagit and Island Counties, WA – A new survey of drivers shows 7 out of 10 have used marijuana and almost half of those have recently driven within a couple of hours after marijuana use. If you or someone you know uses marijuana and drives while high, beware—extra DUI patrols are happening statewide this Holiday […]

Speed Knowledge and Awareness Survey

The Traffic Safety Commission is conducting an opinion poll – just 16 questions,  and answering them will help guide program decisions. Take the survey here. Thanks in advance for taking the time! Director Darrin Grondel

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation: PIRE

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) is one of the nation’s preeminent independent, nonprofit organizations focusing on individual and social problems associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs. PIRE is dedicated to merging scientific knowledge and proven practice to create solutions that improve the health, safety, and well-being of individuals, communities, nations […]

Chris Madill Appointed Traffic Safety Commission Deputy Director

Olympia, WA — The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) announced today that Chris Madill has been appointed Deputy Director, effective July 1. Mr. Madill began with the agency in January 2005 as a program manager and has served as Director of the Programs and Services Division since 2012. “We are pleased to welcome Chris into […]

Campaign to Highlight “Drive High, Get a DUI”

Extra Summer DUI Patrols Kick Off July 1 (OLYMPIA, WA) With marijuana retail stores slated to open in early July, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) is launching a campaign to remind those planning on patronizing the new businesses that driving high is illegal. The campaign is called “Drive High, Get a DUI.” The new […]

Everyone Has a Responsibility to Keep Motorcyclists Safe

OLYMPIA — Summer is here and the Department of Licensing, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, and the Department of Transportation are reminding drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcycle riders. To raise awareness about tragic but preventable motorcycle crashes, 17 large road signs are scheduled to be […]

In Pursuit of Unbuckled AND Distracted Drivers

“Click it or Ticket” Patrols Take on Texters and Talkers This is one sample of news releases customized by county throughout the state. SPOKANE, WHITMAN, PEND OREILLE, AND FERRY COUNTIES, WA – Ever wonder why Washington has one of the highest seat belt use rates in the country? It is due, in large part, to the […]

“DRIVE 1st ARRIVE SAFE” Project Launches on March 27th

Yakima and Union Gap secure funding to help with dangerous roadways UNION GAP, WA – On Wednesday March 27th at 1:00pm at the corner of Old Town Road and 1st /Main Street, Mayors Micah Cawley and Roger Wentz will be joined by concerned citizens and local agencies to launch the Yakima-Union Gap Traffic Safety Project, a […]

Traffic Safety Activist Nancy Mathews Dies at Age 70

ANACORTES, WA — Longtime traffic safety activist, Nancy Mathews, lost her battle with cancer on March 9, 2013 after being diagnosed in December. Nancy died in her home in Anacortes and was surrounded by family. Nancy was born January 6, 1943. She lived in Anacortes until attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. She moved […]

Be Smart, Don’t Rely on Luck

This is one sample of news releases customized by county throughout the state. Cowlitz County, WA – As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, remember finding a designated driver isn’t luck, it’s smart. Make sure you and your friends get home safely. The Cowlitz County Traffic Safety Task Force is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel […]

Governor Reappoints Traffic Safety Commission Director

Darrin Grondel to continue position OLYMPIA, WA — Governor Jay Inslee reappointed Darrin T. Grondel as Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Mr. Grondel has been a traffic safety professional for more than 21 years. “It is extremely humbling and a distinct honor and privilege to be asked to continue in this position working […]

Washington drivers have attitudes, knowledge, and awareness

OLYMPIA, WA — Three quarters of surveyed Washington drivers thought they were likely to get a ticket for going 68 MPH on a freeway posted for 60 MPH. Over 90 percent thought they were likely to get arrested if they drove drunk. A third of drivers age 18-24 said they sent or received a text […]

Washington State Has Highest Seat Belt Use Rate in the Nation

97.5 Percent Rate is Tops This is a joint release from the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. There is yet another sign that Washington drivers are doing the right thing. A newly-released federal report shows that Washington State had the highest seat belt use rate in the nation in 2011 at […]

Drivers Making Good Choices, Crashing Less

This is a joint release from the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. (Olympia)—If you drive a vehicle in Washington, pat yourself on the back. Washington drivers are crashing their vehicles in lower numbers than at any time in the past decade. Fewer than 99,000 collisions […]