Troopers have more time to keep their eyes on you

Troopers have more time to keep their eyes on you
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - KEPR found the number of accidents are way down on state roads here in the Tri-Cities. The number of collisions could stay low thanks to officers on patrol.

One accident can do more than just wreck your car. It can derail your entire life. Especially if you have bad driving habits.

Jim Egger said, "I have to admit I'm a little aggressive than I should be, but I try to tone it down."

Not to mention, saving a life in the process. Jim tries to keep his cool behind the wheel even when others don't.

"People doing lane changes to try to get around people, because of that, I've seen other drivers who try to keep people from making those lane changes," he said.

It's those habits that have state troopers out in force, combing the roads to make their presence known, putting drivers on high alert.

This map helps them to identify trouble areas and get more patrols out hoping to cut down on the number of accidents.

While not high-tech, this map lists every accident reported to WSP for the past decade. The bright orange dots are ones where people were killed. The red are injuries and minor collisions.

It's the easiest way for the agency to target their focus and look for the problem "dots."

In all of last year state roads around the Tri-Cities recorded about a thousand accidents. Most came on State Routes, like 395, 397 and 240.

So far this year, only 107 collisions for the same area. This sets the pace for the number of accidents to drop this year. Thanks in part to a dry winter.

Lt. Mike Saunders with WSP said, "We don't have the heavy weather, the collisions aren't as bad. We have more time to take enforcement."

That's more time to watch what you're doing out on the roads. They're hoping to send a clear message to drivers.

Jim said,"Ten, fifteen miles down the road, you're still one car maybe 2 cars ahead, which amounts to what, 30 seconds, so what have you gained."

It's all about what you stand to lose.

WSP tells KEPR that joint efforts with local law enforcement also helps keep the number of accidents to a minimum.