The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.
FRIDAY UPDATE: Crack down on Aurora Avenue drivers
Posted by Susan Gilmore
Seattle Police cited 509 motorists for committing a total of 677 traffic violations during the day-long crackdown Thursday on Aurora Avenue North. Another 198 drivers received warnings during the special patrols, aimed at detering aggressive and distracted drivers.
The list of citations includes:
* 331 for speeding; the highest speed clocked was 66 mph in a 40 mph zone
* 80 for no insurance
* 62 for talking on a cell phone
* 50 for speeding in a school zone
* 30 for not wearing a seat belt
* 23 for no license
* 21 for unsafe lane changes
* 19 for aggressive driving
* 16 for illegal turns
* 15 for failure to obey signs
* 8 for defective equipment
* 6 for DUI
* 5 for improper vehicle license
* 2 for negligent driving
* 2 for failure to yield right of way
* 2 for following too closely
* 2 for inattentive driving
* 2 for bicyclists
* 1 for failure to yield to pedestrians
Seattle Police are targeting Aurora Avenue North all day Thursday to deter aggressive and distracted driving.
Specifically, police say they are focusing on behaviors that contribute to collisions, injuries and deaths along Aurora: Speeding, unsafe turning, cellphone usage, texting and other car distractions.
As of 9:30 Thursday morning, police had made 132 traffic stops, issued 120 citations and reported that several violators were stopped for driving over 20 miles per hour above speed limit.
More than 50 officers are involved, including motorcycle units. Joining Seattle Police are six units from the Washington State Patrol and the state Liquor Control Board. A command center has been set up at North 125th Street and Aurora Avenue North.
Thursday's patrol is part of a two-year project to improve safety along Aurora. Between April 2005 and March 2008, 1,581 collisions occured on a stretch of that roadway from the Battery Street Tunnel and North 145h Street.