Bio: Jessie Knudsen is the Target Zero manager for the Thurston Task Force, sponsored by the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Jon Tunheim. The task force collaborates with county, local, and state law enforcement agencies as well as tribal law enforcement to reduce death and disabling injuries on our roads. The task force works with media an promotes these emphasis patrols as well as a variety of school and community programs that seek to educate young drivers and parents on traffic safety. Visit our Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Target-Zero-Thurston-Task-Force/144509315620973
Jessie brings a wealth of experience in social marketing, data analysis and communication strategy to her role. She is enthusiastic about promoting a culture of traffic safety and is looking forward to making Thurston County a safer place to drive, walk and ride!
Born and raised in Thurston County, she has developed communication and marketing campaigns for the Alaska Department of Transportation and the Alaska State Legislature. Prior to joining the prosecuting attorney’s office, she worked as a communications consultant for the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Jessie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University in Public Relations and is currently working to complete a Masters in Communication Leadership at the University of Washington, Seattle. In addition to her passion for paddle boarding and travel, she spends her free time as a Big Brothers Big Sisters “big.”
Traffic safety priorities for region:
- Impaired Driving is a critical factor in both fatal and serious injury crashes in Thurston County. The Target Zero Taskforce works to eliminate impaired driving crashes by conducting DUI high visibility enforcement patrols throughout the year, leading presentations in local schools and community groups, and meeting with local public officials to encourage community support of efforts to eliminate impaired driving.
- Thurston County is one of two counties in Washington that was selected to create and implement a speed reduction pilot project. This project will utilize recent technology developed for mobile speed feedback signs that passively reduce speeding as well as collect data. This traffic data will be utilized by law enforcement, supporting their efforts to prioritize enforcement times and locations. Speed reduction high visibility patrols will take place in spring 2018.
- Distracted driving was a factor in 38% of all fatal crashes in 2013 in Thurston County. As such, the Thurston County Target Zero Taskforce is committed to reducing distracted driving through proactive messaging in schools, community presentations and active enforcement focused on intersections with high vehicle volumes.
Youth Impaired Driving Reduction
- Thurston County utilizes the Party Intervention Patrol model to reduce underage drinking and driving. This model includes finding parties that include underage drinkers (anyone under 21 who has been drinking alcohol), and connecting them with on-site intervention specialists. Each youth or young adult who is arrested has the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an intervention specialist before leaving with a parent. The focus of this project is to increase awareness of the dangers of underage drinking, and to intervene in the lives of youth as early as possible. In addition to the enforcement patrols, taskforce agencies also do periodic alcohol retail compliance checks at least 2 times per year.
Seat Belt Use
- Seat belts are one of the best tools that reduce death and injury in a violent crash. Washington has one of the highest use rates in the county. To ensure that this rate stays high in Thurston County, our local law enforcement actively enforce seat belt laws by conducting annual seat belt emphasis patrols during the Click It or Ticket national campaign.
List of 5 projects/activities done in your region:
- Promoting safe driving culture through education and outreach at Thurston County schools.
- Youth targeted outreach about the dangers of drugged driving, specifically marijuana.
- Patrols dedicated to local young victims of high speed crashes.
- Mock fatal crashes at local high schools. The first was at Rainier High School in April of 2018 and the task force is gearing up for three more in 2019!
- Hosted “Bike Fest” at The Evergreen State College to educate and inform college students and staff about bicycle safety and opportunities in Thurston County.