Red Light Emphasis Patrols Being Planned in Yakima
Yakima Police are planning a major traffic emphasis patrol later this month to help put a stop to drivers who speed through red lights in the city. The Yakima Police Department traffic unit was canceled last year because of a lack of officers but the chief says the department is slowly building back the unit because of the great need on city streets.
Officers are doing a lot of different jobs because of a lack of officers
Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely says officers are now trying to put more emphasis on traffic enforcement to save lives and slow down drivers. 15 Fatality crashes have been reported this year but police anticipate more before the end of the year. Seely says the department is planning the special emphasis patrol before the end of the month to send a message to drivers that they need to slow down and stop for red lights.
The chief and Yakima City Council members want more safety on city streets
Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray held a study session on traffic with the Yakima City Council on Tuesday in which the city talked about ways to improve safety on city streets. Capt. Seely says officers were conducting traffic enforcement on Wednesday morning in many areas of the city and more traffic emphasis will happen into the fall until the Yakima Police Department Traffic Unit is back at 100%.
In the meantime officers are asking drivers to watch and stop for red lights slow down in school zones and neighborhoods.
Lock your vehicle or you may be walking
While drivers are speeding in Yakima many drivers are also victims of vehicle theft.
Through July of this year Yakima Police say 336 vehicles were stolen within Yakima city limits.
During the same time last year the number was 252 stolen vehicles.
Many of the vehicles are stolen during the fall and winter months as people warm up unlocked vehicles in driveways. But summer months are also popular for stolen cars.