Traffic Deaths Continue to Decline - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Traffic Deaths Continue to Decline

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TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Governor Chris Gregoire announces Washington traffic related deaths continue to decline into 2009.

Washington had 519 traffic deaths in 2008. That's down from 571 in 2007, a 9% decline.

Locally, State Patrol is seeing a sharp decline already from last year to this year. By the middle of March of 2008, the Tri-Cities had already seen 4 fatalities on the roads. So far this year there's only been one fatal car accident when 34-year-old Lea Walsh rolled her car on 395 South of Connell on March 8th.

Sergeant Roger Wilbur with Washington State Patrol said this is a good sign in reaching the states goal of no fatalities by 2030, part of campaign "Target Zero."

"Even over the last 20 years from where we've been to where we are now, we've probably cut our death toll in half so it's not unrealistic to think we could cut it in half or drive it all the way down," said Wilbur.

Wilbur said drunk driving, no seat belts and speed are the top three contributors to traffic deaths.