Yakima’s Traffic Control Emphasis Patrol – Yah, They Got Me!
The Yakima Police Department (YPD) has plenty to do with investigating and solving big crimes, gang shootings and more, so you wouldn't necessarily think they have the availability and manpower to spend a lot of time babysitting us drivers into following the rules of the road-- the ones we supposedly knew back when we first got our licenses. But traffic is part of the law enforcement purview, so the YPD recently asked the public to identify the city's traffic problem areas for special emphasis patrols and they got an ear full. Hundreds of responses came pouring in and so the YPD marshalled all the troops and are in the midst of "educational reminder" emphasis patrols at various hot spots around the city
One of Yakima's biggest problem areas is with people running red lights. It's quite dangerous and let's face it, where in Yakima is there to go that's worth the risk of a serious T-Bone accident to get there a couple seconds faster? Exactly.
So watching for drivers running red lights and stop signs is a big part of the emphasis but not the sole focus. They're also watching for people driving and talking on their cell phones at the same time. I know this because that's what I was doing when they stopped me on Nob Hill yesterday afternoon. Boy did I feel dumb and knowing better, it was an effective "wake up" reminder stop for me. I got a warning, not a ticket, from a very pleasant man who said he was a detective taking his turn on a two hour shift. A warning is what most motorist will receive. I thought it might be a good idea to have the YPD on the show to talk about the patrols so I gave him a card as he gave me back my license and registration. That lead to this morning's conversation with Captain Jay Seely.