Cops in Seattle are handing out few traffic tickets in a liberal plan to all but scrap enforcement — but car-related deaths have spiked to a “crisis level” in the same time period, according transportation data.
Police gave out just 3,863 tickets in 2022 — a roughly 90% plunge from an annual average of 40,000 during the 2010s, according to The Seattle Times.
But the massive decrease — part of an anti-police effort by some liberal city council members — comes as 28 people died in traffic crashes and 10,000 had accidents the same year.
And in 2021, there were 30 fatalities — the most the Emerald City had seen in 15 years.
In a recent review of its “Vision Zero” campaign — which aims to end traffic deaths in the city by 2030 — Seattle’s transportation department probed why the effort is not working.
But the lengthy report makes little mention of the role seemingly lawless roadways have played in the deaths.
“Peer agencies are moving away from enforcement as a leading strategy, pointing instead to a safe systems model and designing roads to be ‘self-enforcing,’“ the report states.
Meanwhile, leaders have bemoaned the rise in car fatalities and accidents — though city officials have stopped short of calling for a return to more police enforcement.
“I don’t think any of us want police involved in traffic stops,” Seattle City Council member Tammy Morales at a hearing last week.
Nobody at the meeting disagreed.
However, Seattle Times Columnist Danny Westneat on Wednesday stressed the need for beefed up police enforcement to help curb traffic deaths.
“We’re in denial if we think we’re going to get to zero without the cops involved,” he wrote.