If you got a ticket today on Capitol Hill…

Sorry. We just got the memo:

“Super Safe” Road Safety Emphasis Patrols

Written by on September 12, 2012

The Seattle Police Department has partnered with other city departments and community groups to promote “Super Safe” roads for everyone.   On September 11th and 12th the Seattle Police Traffic Section will be conducting emphasis patrols in the Capitol Hill neighborhood to improve the safety of everyone using our roads — pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles.  The “Be Super Safe” effort is part of a long-term goals of reducing serious injuries and fatalities on our roads to zero

Focusing on enforcing traffic safety laws in areas of the city with high numbers of collisions is one way to ensure fewer crashes and the injuries associated with them.  Capitol Hill is but one area with several high-collision locations.   Traffic Officers will be on the lookout for people speeding, people traveling distracted, and people not obeying the rules of the road.

According to Seattle Department of Transportation data: 

• 33% of collisions in Seattle involve speeding.  If you hit a person going 40 mph, they have an 85% chance of being killed.  By going just 10 mph slower, there is a 65% chance of  surviving a collision.

• Distraction is a growing problem on our streets, despite new laws making texting or holding a phone to your ear an infraction.  Over 1,000 distraction-involved collisions occur in Seattle every year.

• Almost half of all fatal collisions in Seattle involve impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs.

All of these collisions are probably preventable.

Help us get the word out and visit  for more information on how you can make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.

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27 thoughts on “If you got a ticket today on Capitol Hill…

  1. …good. You almost certainly deserved it.

    I see a lot more speeding, stop sign-running, crosswalk-charging, and (especially) cell phone driving than I do people being ticketed for the same.

  2. Absolutely agree. I’d love it if the police would put beat cops on some of the busier corners, take video as people blew through stop signs, and mailed out tickets to the drivers. Maybe cops that spent a couple hours a day doing that could generate enough in fines to pay for themselves, then could spend the rest of their day out on foot patrol. Great way to get more police patrols on the street while also making the neighborhood safer for pedestrians, kids, and bikes.

  3. This morning I almost hit a cop with my motorcycle who was jay-walking across the street downtown. He must have been in a hurry to get up to the hill to make the roads safer.

  4. i am not one for excessive ticketing, but would like to see some enforcement of the law that gives buses right of way when pulling out from a bus stop. cars are supposed to stop when the bus puts it’s turn signal on. little things like that can help improve bus efficiency.

  5. Well duh.

    OK, pardon my pithiness…

    I see approximately a thousand instances of (people violating traffic safety laws) for every instance I see of a policeman writing a ticket for anything other than parking.


  6. Not to excuse the police officer for jaywalking in a way that clearly was unsafe for you and him, but this doesn’t change the fact that by actually enforcing the laws they’re making the roads safer for everyone. Perhaps you should report the officer or something, but it bothers me when people let minor, isolated incidents like this affect their whole perspective on traffic enforcement or whatever the topic might be. The fact is that better enforcement = safer streets, period. That’s what really matters.

  7. Totally agree. I have a car but also ride the bus frequently so am pretty happy to respect the bus drivers. I can’t tell you how many times I am honked at for letting the bus pull out; I’ve had drivers go around me as well (even as the bus is pulling out).

    Maybe many people don’t realize somehow that they’re supposed to yield. Or maybe they’re just assholes….

  8. I certainly hope they were ticketing bicyclists and pedestrians in addition to drivers. I am most frequently a pedestrian nowadays and I constantly see bicyclists and pedestrians breaking traffic laws. If a bicycle can break the law and run a red light or stop sign in front a cop without getting a ticket why can’t a car?

  9. I was waiting for this comment…and it only took 70 minutes! Face it, getting hit by a car hurts more and they are a bigger public health (safety) threat than cyclists and law-breaking pedestrians.

  10. Fair enough, but it doesn’t change my main point, which is that more officers enforcing the rules is better for everyone. It’s unfortunate that the police are so awful at policing themselves (in almost every respect) because then we end up with people implying that the laws aren’t important or worth following even when many of them–traffic laws included–clearly are.

  11. Yeah, I think this is just a lack of knowledge. I’d like to see a legitimate driver education on this subject – I’m all for enforcement via tickets too, but when what seems like the vast majority of people don’t even seem to realize this is the law, there’s a problem that ticketing 0.1% of the infractions probably won’t solve.

  12. I’m mostly on board with pragmatic, but I agree that bicyclists should be ticketed for running red lights. If you’re going to be on the road I think it’s legitimate that people should be able to anticipate what you’re going to do, and not waiting for a green light to traverse the intersection is a big one. Coasting (not speeding) through stop signs when no cars are already waiting and other things of that nature, just like pedestrians jaywalking when there are no cars nearby, is something I think it’s silly–and probably counterproductive–to enforce because no one’s safety is actually in question.

  13. They need to come down on bicyclists in the area. On Saturday the walk light turned on for me and I started to walk and almost got hit by bicyclist. We all need to learn to share the road, all car, bike and foot.

  14. I’m a watcher, and I see bicyclists violate multiple laws daily. Riding in the left lane of a 2-laned street waaaay under the speed limit – shame on you! Stay to the right hand side so cars may obey the speed limit.
    Ultimately though, if we’d all get our heads out of our asses and be even remotely considerate of even 1 person other than ourselves, the world would be a better place because things would run smoother. We need to work together.

  15. I agree that bicyclists have gotten pretty bad here on the hill when it comes to obeying the law.

    I was crossing the street the other day at a crosswalk and cars stopped for me, but a guy on a bike almost took me out as he rode right past the stopped cars.

  16. People getting in/out of cars, please try looking to make sure it’s safe to do so. I can’t count how many times people walk blindly into the street without looking (sometimes while looking at their phone) and almost get tagged by a bike or car. The other one is, they just decide it’s okay to swing their car door open and get out without looking. That shit is dumb, don’t do it.

  17. Obviously everyone should be smart and safe and considerate of others in all our public spaces. But my point is that bikers are not a public safety hazard in the way that cars are. It’s unfair and unhelpful to say that bikers (yes even the ones that roll through stop signs and red lights) and jaywalkers are making our roads unsafe. It’s a misplaced concern, IMHO.
    Take solace in the fact that if a biker hits anyone or anything they will almost always injure themselves, too. You can’t say the same for someone behind a dashboard, which is why it’s so much easier (and more dangerous) to become desensitized to the threat we pose on others when we are driving.

  18. First, there is the reality that bicyclists can seriously injure and even kill pedestrians and other cyclists. Second, when cyclists disobey basic rules of the road, it makes it harder for those of us in cars to NOT collide with them. One of my pet peeves is cyclists riding at dusk/dark with no lights. Give us half a chance out here to share the road without hitting you. You are harder to see than a car even in broad daylight, and when the sun starts going down cyclists are INVISIBLE. I don’t want to be responsible for hitting a cyclist. I do not resent sharing the road. But please be predictable, And BE VISIBLE.

  19. One pedestrian law that should be better enforced is the one which requires you to not enter an intersection when the red “don’t walk” signal appears. There are two good reasons to obey this law….one is that it improves traffic flow by allowing motorists to make their turns before they get the red light, and the other is that it improves pedestrian safety because they run the risk of getting hit if they proceed against the “don’t walk” directive.

    I get the impression that many people think it’s an inconvenience and “not cool” to obey this law……”Oh, I am SO busy and important and I don’t have time to stop for this.” At the very least, please at least check to see if there are any vehicles turning before you ignore this law.

  20. I’m not at all sure that two days of “emphasis patrols” will make a difference. I would like to see the SPD do this once a month and to not announce in advance what days they will conduct the patrols….that approach WOULD make a difference.

  21. The worst are the bikers riding up Pike who run through the red light at Boren only to want to share the road when it skinnies and turns right a block or two up the hill. One of these days a red-light running biker is going to get smeared at Boren (on Pike or Pine) and it will be a big “I told you so!” moment.

  22. While I agree with enforcement of existing motor vehicle laws associated with auto v. pedestrian, I think enforcement applies to all.

    Pedestrians should never look at themselves as having the right of way when the stopping distance too small to avoid a collision. Cars should be observant when there are pedestrians in the cross walk. Bicyclists need to act like a car or a pedestrian and not when it’s convenient.

    *stepping down from soapbox