Blocking the Box Enforcement on Mercer St and Dexter Ave to Keep Travelers Safe

The City of Seattle conducted blocking the box enforcement on Mercer Street at Dexter Avenue N in coordination with transit lane enforcement at other locations in downtown. Seattle Police Officers enforced the posted blocking the box restrictions which help address vehicles that illegally stop in the intersection impeding traffic and pedestrian safety. More of these enforcements are planned for the weeks ahead, and will occur throughout the city.

On February 12th, 2015, Mayor Murray announced Vision Zero – Seattle’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD) have partnered to achieve our safety goals by following the basic principles of this approach which include:

  • Roadway design that takes human error into account and creates a safer, more predictable environment for all travelers
  • Targeted education and public engagement that empowers people to make better decisions
  • Data-driven enforcement that targets high crash areas and key behaviors

Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country. Over the past decade we’ve seen a 30 percent decline in traffic fatalities, even as our population grows. Despite this fact, traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for Seattle residents aged 5-24. Older adults are also disproportionately affected, and as our population ages, this trend could grow. In 2014, there were 10,815 police-reported collisions in Seattle and 15 fatalities occurred. This is unacceptable.

We can do better. At the core of the worldwide Vision Zero movement is the belief that death and injury on city streets is preventable. For the most part, these aren’t “accidents”. Collisions are often the result of poor behaviors and unforgiving roadway designs. So we must approach the problem from multiple angles — street designs that emphasize safety, predictability, and the potential for human error, coupled with targeted education and data-driven enforcement.

Thank you to drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians for practicing safe travel habits, and to the Seattle Police Traffic Officers for the work they do to keep us safe.

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