Published January 09, 2013
State Patrol sees 13 percent fewer crashes in Pierce and ThurstonCHELSEA KROTZER
The Washington State Patrol saw a drop in crashes on Thurston and Pierce County highways and interstates in 2012. The State Patrol released statistics this week for areas including DUI arrests, traffic stops, tickets issued and crashes in District 1, which includes both counties. District 1 troopers investigated 6,542 crashes in 2012, 13 percent fewer than the year before, statistics show. Thirty-two were fatal, said Trooper Guy Gill. “At least 19 of those involved alcohol and/or drugs,” he said. “Collision reduction is our goal, and every time we remove an impaired driver from the road, we potentially just prevented one.” The State Patrol arrested 3,830 drivers suspected of driving under the influence in both counties. “That number is big — too big,” Gill said. “Especially because we tell people ahead of time through multiple media sources we’re going to be out looking for impaired drivers. “That’s a whole lot of poor decision-making.” Troopers made 114,443 traffic stops in the two counties in 2012. Of those, 49,188 were calls for service in which troopers assisted stranded drivers, removed debris from the road or assisted other agencies. An additional 8,584 drivers also were stopped for aggressive driving. Troopers stopped 54,684 drivers for speeding and issued 38,951 tickets. Troopers also made 958 drug arrests and recovered 59 stolen vehicles.