Rising Traffic Deaths in Kitsap Daily News Due to Lack of Enforcement

The Correlation Between Traffic Enforcement and Fatalities: A 20-Year Analysis


As the editor of an online legal journal, I am often asked about the correlation between traffic enforcement and fatalities. Recently, a reader reached out to me with the same question, but with a much broader scope. In this piece, I will analyze the past 20 years of traffic fatalities and enforcement, and discuss whether there is a correlation between the two.

20-Year Analysis

After reviewing the data, I found that traffic enforcement and fatalities have a complex relationship. From 1990 to 2010, traffic fatalities decreased by nearly half. However, in recent years, fatalities have been on the rise. The peak of enforcement occurred between 2003 and 2009, during which fatalities decreased. However, as enforcement decreased, fatalities began to rise again.

The Role of Enforcement

While enforcement is undoubtedly important, it is not the sole solution to reducing fatalities on our roads. Stricter DUI laws and primary seat belt laws have historically reduced fatal crashes, but cultural attitudes towards impaired driving and wearing seat belts have also played a significant role. Additionally, improvements in vehicle engineering, road design, and emergency responder proximity have all contributed to increased safety on our roads.

An Uphill Battle

It is clear that traffic safety is an uphill battle, and one that requires cooperation across a wide range of sectors. While police have an important role to play, they cannot solve this problem alone. Rather, it will require a multipronged approach that includes changes in legislation, vehicle manufacturing, and societal attitudes towards safe driving practices.


While fatalities on our roads are indeed a tragedy, there is hope for improvement. From 1990 to 2010, we saw a significant reduction in fatalities, despite a far greater average prior to 1990. If we can work together to address this issue, we can make our roads safer once again.

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