State Pushing 'Target Zero' Program - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State Pushing 'Target Zero' Program

KENNEWICK, Wash.- Washington State is starting a new effort to reduce fatal car accidents.

The state is giving themselves plenty of time -- but you might be surprised at their goal.

It's busy intersections and roads that cause problems, but by the year 2030, the state would like to totally eliminate traffic deaths in the state, zero.

The program's called "Target Zero," meaning no traffic deaths or even serious injury accidents by the year 2030.

More than 600 people die on Washington's roads each year, and the State Patrol says while getting that to zero seems lofty, the stats on preventable deaths tell a different story.

"Half of the fatals that we've investigated this year have been because of people getting thrown from their vehicles or ejected from their vehicles because they weren't wearing their seatbelts.  Those collisions would probably be preventable," said Sgt. Roger Wilbur with the State Patrol. 

He says the vast majority of fatalities are caused by people not wearing seatbelts and drunk driving.

Washington ranks first in the nation in seatbelt use at more than 97%.