The goal of our enforcement operations is to improve safety, not to issue citations. Enforcement is effective in reducing collisions, especially when combined with education and outreach. Our traffic safety patrols are coordinated with advanced outreach to let people know about the increased police presence, to explain the dangers of the behaviors that are being targeted, and to encourage road safety for everyone.

Our "Safety Emphasis Patrols" are based upon data that directs focus on the locations where crashes occur frequently and targets the behaviors that commonly cause collisions. In Seattle, the top contributing factors for collisions are:

  • Failure to yield
  • Distracted driving/inattention
  • Impaired driving
  • Following too closely
  • Speeding

The Seattle Police Department deploys a number of different strategies that address these collisions types including:

  • Pedestrian Safety Emphasis Patrols
  • Bicycle Safety Emphasis Patrols
  • Corridor Safety Patrols
  • DUI Emphasis Patrols
  • Aggressive Driving Reduction Patrols

If you are contacted by SPD during an emphasis patrol, you may receive the following handout intended to reinforce our message to Be Super Safe on our roadways: Why Are We Out Enforcing? Handout (PDF)

Find out more about SPD's enforcement operations on their website, or check out the reports from several recent emphasis patrols.