Yakima Driver Alert Emphasis Patrols Underway
Yakima Police say a special speed emphasis patrol is now underway until the end of the year. Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely says Patrol Officers are now obligated to make at least 3 to 4 traffic stops every day and either warn or ticket drivers.
The chief is very concerned and is determined to slow drivers in the city
Last month the Yakima Police Chief wrote a letter to the community in which he says "the culture of anything goes on Yakima streets must change." More than 15 fatality crashes have been reported this year within city limits and numerous serious injury crashes involving vehicles and motorcycles. Yakima City Council member Matt Brown says the city decided the emphasis was important to remind drivers to slow down saying the city has seen many complaints about Yakima traffic.
The city will get state funding to help pay for the extra patrols
During a recent Yakima City Council meeting the council approved resolutions to allow the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to provide funding not to exceed $3,000 to "assist in providing a Law Enforcement Liaison to collaborate with Yakima Police in promoting Target Zero priorities."
The council also passed a resolution authorizing an "interlocal agreement with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission for funding to provide traffic safety emphasis patrols. The commission says it'll provide $90,000 to conduct multi-jurisdictional, high visibility traffic safety enforcement to support Target Zero operations."
The city is funding the current patrols with reimbursement coming from the state later in the year or next year.
Police say if you follow the law you've got nothing to worry about
Capt. Jay Seely says if you're obeying traffic laws by not speeding and running red lights there's no need to be concerned about the patrols because they're designed to make Yakima streets safer and catch those drivers who break the law.