Number of local highway collisions continue to decrease - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Number of local highway collisions continue to decrease

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The number of highway collisions in Washington is the lowest it's been in a decade and locally those numbers are declining, as well.

In Benton and Franklin Counties the number of highway collisions continue to decrease, just as the statewide numbers are too.

In Benton-Franklin there were over three hundred fewer collisions than a decade ago. There were about thirteen thousand eight hundred wrecks in 2011.

Statewide in 2011 there were nearly ninety-nine thousand collisions and that's down about five thousand collisions from 2001.

Local Washington State Patrol says they credit the decrease to concentrated patrols. For the past five years patrols have focused on problem areas.

"Plotted on a map where these collisions are occurring and so the sergeants in the area have their troopers work those areas and saturate those areas to focus on those violations that cause these wrecks. Speed is our primary causing violation for a collision," says Sgt. Brian Mihelich, Washington State Patrol.

Sgt. Mihelich says one of the target area where they patrol is on State Route 395 from milepost fourteen to twenty, running from the Southridge area to the Blue Bridge.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is also adding highway safety features to prevent collisions such as rumble strips and guardrail.