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Traffic Safety

Lynnwood's traffic cameras an effective enforcement tool

I have read the Herald article published on April 11, written by Rikki King regarding traffic enforcement cameras in Lynnwood. I have also read the

Date: 04/17/2016 | Commentary

Get accident data on Lynnwood's red-light cameras

Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith wants her city to have a conversation about its traffic cameras as it works to map out its plans and budget goals.The traffic camera discussion is driven both by the final months of a contract with the city's camera vendor, American Traffic...

Date: 04/13/2016 | Editorials

Lynnwood to reconsider lucrative traffic-enforcement cameras

LYNNWOOD — Nine years after its inception, the city of Lynnwood's traffic-enforcement camera program continues to bring in millions of dollars each year.Public records show the city's revenue at $19.2 million since the cameras went live in 2007. Of that, $5.8 million...

Date: 04/10/2016 | Local News

Drivers, leave the phone alone

There are two types of drivers out there: Those who have nearly had an accident because their attention was diverted from the road — otherwise known as distracted driving — and those who deny that they've ever had a close call because of a distraction.Actually,...

Date: 04/05/2016 | Editorials

Weigh stations struggle to remain open with too few troopers

Tim Vesely of Lake Stevens writes: “What was the point of wasting taxpayer dollars refurbishing the weigh station in Everett on the I-5 southbound, when it is never open?”

Date: 03/14/2016 | Street Smarts

Spring forward: Your Monday commute will be terrible

“I hate the Monday after daylight saving time begins,” said Sam Schwartz, former traffic commissioner of New York City. “I try not to have any meetings that morning.” Schwartz isn’t alone: Groggy commuters are equally perturbed by the time change-and their sleepiness leads to a jump in...

Date: 03/12/2016 | Nation & World

Lack of wheelchair access to sidewalks a difficulty

An open letter to the City of Everett and its Public Works Department:My name is Kent McDaniel. I am 39 years of age and I have cerebral palsy and am confined to a motorized wheelchair. I have been unable to walk since birth. I live at Camelot Apartments at 112th Street and...

Date: 03/12/2016 | Commentary

Driverless cars get closer to approval in U.S.

Existing U.S. laws pose few barriers to adoption of autonomous vehicle technology so long as cars and trucks stick with existing designs allowing humans to take control, the agency overseeing traffic safety said Friday.It's only when manufacturers push the envelope by...

Date: 03/12/2016 | Business Wire

Seattle’s red-light cameras earned $5 million, may add more

SEATTLE — Red light cameras led to nearly 40,000 tickets in Seattle in 2015. Now Washington’s largest city is considering adding more.KING-TV reported Seattle’s existing red light cameras brought in more than $5 million last year.

Date: 02/22/2016 | Northwest

Check for car recalls online

You can check for recalls on your vehicle at The search engine works best with a vehicle identification number (VIN) but also offers a search by make and model.

Date: 01/22/2016 | Street Smarts

Feds probe complaints that Ford Focus doors won’t latch

DETROIT — U.S. auto safety regulators have opened an investigation into complaints that doors won’t latch properly on about 400,000 Ford Focus compact cars, including some reports that the doors have opened while the cars are moving.

Date: 01/21/2016 | Business Wire

Smartphones may keep teens off the roads

Over the winter break, my teenage children observed, based on their friends and acquaintances, that young adults are much less eager to get their driver's licenses than they once were, and that in general fewer young people have them. I was skeptical at first, but it turns out they're...

Date: 01/18/2016 | Commentary

What the Legislature got done in 2015

Having noted Congress' accomplishments for 2015 yesterday, we'll continue in the same vein for the Washington Legislature, but we're also making mention of where those...

Date: 12/31/2015 | Editorials

Reversing the loss of State Patrol troopers

That the Washington State Patrol was losing officers to better-paying jobs with police and sheriff departments across the state has become clear in recent years.The State Patrol is authorized for 690 trooper positions, but currently only 580 are filled. And the drain of...

Date: 12/29/2015 | Editorials

No turn lanes for Mukilteo Boulevard near Forest Park

Steven Lay of Everett writes about close calls and fender-benders at one of the curvy and hilly entrances to Forest Park on East Mukilteo Boulevard...

Date: 12/23/2015 | Street Smarts

Tips to make your Christmas travel un-Grinch like

Over the Salish Sea and through the tangled traffic, to grandmother’s house we — oh, forget it, let’s stay home this Christmas.Tap, tap, tap.Sorry, my 5-year-old informs me that presents are waiting at Grandma’s. Right, so here we go.

Date: 12/21/2015 | Street Smarts

Top tips for driving at night

One of the most common patient complaints presented to an eye doctor is difficulty seeing while driving at night. According to the National Safety Council, vehicle death rates are three times higher at nighttime than during the day.If you struggle to see while you are...

Date: 12/19/2015 | Life

After fatal crashes, WSU parents, students demand safer roads

PULLMAN — Parents and students at Washington State University are demanding safer roads leading into Pullman after two fatal crashes this holiday season.They said Highway 195 and Highway 26 have both become very dangerous, with narrow lanes and high speed limits.

Date: 12/07/2015 | Northwest

What ‘when children are present’ means in a school zone

Many school zone signs note that the school zone is in effect “when children are present.”But what does that mean?It may seem like splitting hairs. But with police departments offering different rules for when school zones are in force, it’s worth a closer look.

Date: 11/29/2015 | Street Smarts

More than 400 will die on roads this weekend

WASHINGTON — The National Safety Council says 433 people will die in car crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday and another 52,300 will be seriously injured. It's safe to assume that some of the dead and injured will be back-seat passengers who opt not to wear seat belts.

Date: 11/25/2015 | Nation & World

Seasonal closure begins on Highway 20

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews closed the North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) for the first time this season on Nov. 12, due to bad weather over the pass that...

Date: 11/17/2015 | Street Smarts

A roadmap for better transit

Sitting in traffic must have some persuasive effect.Even in an election year when Tim Eyman's latest tax-limiting initiative garnered nearly 56 percent approval in Snohomish County, about 51 percent of voters served by Community Transit approved a .3 percent sales tax...

Date: 11/12/2015 | Editorials

School zone beacon near Penny Creek still out

It was last spring when Jeannette Geyer first brought to our notice that the flashing beacon wasn’t working on an advance warning sign that alerts drivers on westbound Highway 96 of the approaching school zone near Penny Creek Elementary School.

Date: 11/08/2015 | Street Smarts

How to merge — and be kind to those trying

V. Brown of Arlington writes: “We are seeing increasing problems with merging drivers on the interstate. More and more people appear to not even look until the last second, and then seem ‘put out’ if there’s no space to merge. People in the right lane cannot always safely move to the middle lane to...

Date: 11/05/2015 | Street Smarts

When letting other cars into your lane, focus is on safety

Karen Brothers asks: “I have a question regarding turn signals. When a driver has turned on his turn signal to change lanes, what is the law about allowing that car to move into the new lane? Are we required to slow down and allow them in?”

Date: 11/04/2015 | Street Smarts

County to take fresh look at placing signal at OK Mill Road

Elizabeth Chicoine of Marysville says: "A traffic light is needed at OK Mill Road and South Machias Road in Snohomish. Traffic is very...

Date: 10/29/2015 | Street Smarts

Safer passages

Crews complete work on new sidewalks near elementary schools

Date: 10/28/2015 | Local News

A tale of two stop signs in Everett

Kevin Lord of Everett did a double-take after seeing double on a recent drive home. At the intersection of Rockefeller Avenue and 37th Street, there was a second stop sign professionally mounted to the pole just above the ground.Lord continued on home, grabbed the dog for a...

Date: 10/28/2015 | Street Smarts

No more warnings; Seattle school zone speeders to get fines

SEATTLE — Seattle police say there will be no more warnings to slow down in school zones. As of Monday, speeding drivers caught on camera or by a police patrol in six new Seattle school zones will get a $234 ticket.

Date: 10/19/2015 | Northwest

Slowpoke in toll lanes? Do not pass at double white lines

Betsie Snoey of Mukilteo writes: "We use our Flex Pass to attend doctors' appointments in Bellevue and to visit our grandchildren in Issaquah. We have run into this problem twice and our daughter's family experienced it once. We travel along at the speed limit and come upon a car...

Date: 10/13/2015 | Street Smarts

How-to deal with collisions in the I-405 toll lanes

The number of collisions in the first week of tolling on I-405 between Lynnwood and Bellevue was significantly higher than the same time last year.

Date: 10/10/2015 | Street Smarts

20 mph or not? School zone rules, explained

L.H. Tovrea of Marysville asks: “Now that schools are back in session, please review or translate for us exactly what school zone speed signs mean. The most common sign says ‘school zone speed 20 miles per hour,’ and the second sign posted under it says ‘when children are present’ and the third...

Date: 10/05/2015 | Street Smarts

China leader’s smooth ride was a nightmare for the rest of us

EVERETT — Traffic was miserable Tuesday, thanks to security for the visiting Chinese president. And it's going to be miserable again on Wednesday.But driving the wrong way on I-5 isn't going to help.One of the consequences of a visiting head of state...

Date: 09/22/2015 | Local News

Toll-lane cheating, explained

A commentary by Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Merrill that was published in Friday's Herald claimed enforcement of the new toll lanes on I-405 is doomed before it...

Date: 09/20/2015 | Street Smarts

Higher guardrails going in on Boeing Freeway

Safer guardrails are going up on Highway 526 in Everett.

Date: 09/13/2015 | Street Smarts

Automakers vow to put brakes on rear collisions

LOS ANGELES — Every 17 seconds, a driver on a U.S. road gets hit from behind. In fact, a third of all car crashes are rear-end collisions.

Date: 09/13/2015 | Business Wire

Make way for walkers and cyclists

Here's how great our concern for the condition of our roads, bridges and the other parts of our transportation infrastructure has grown in recent years: At least at the state level, Republicans were the ones to step forward with a gas tax increase to fund a $16 billion transportation...

Date: 09/13/2015 | Editorials

Traffic signal not working? Treat as 4-way stop

Recent wind storms knocked out power to multiple traffic signals in Snohomish County.

Date: 09/06/2015 | Street Smarts

OK to run fog lights with no fog — but they better be legal

Street Smarts reader Dan Kessler has noted that some vehicles have a second set of lights in the front that are awfully bright.“I used to have fog lights on my vehicle and they didn’t reach this level of candle power,” he said.

Date: 09/02/2015 | Street Smarts

Back-to-school rules for following school buses

Back-to-school means a big uptick in traffic.Cars taking kids to school account for up to 14 percent of the morning rush, according to...

Date: 08/30/2015 | Street Smarts

Mom cited for allegedly driving on I-5 while breast-feeding

EVERETT — A Mountlake Terrace woman was handed a traffic ticket Wednesday evening after allegedly breast-feeding her infant son while driving on I-5.Around 7 p.m., a 911 caller reported seeing a baby in the driver’s lap as she headed northbound on the freeway in Everett.

Date: 08/27/2015 | Local News

Please, don’t toke and drive

It's probably not a surprise that marijuana use is being found more often among drivers who are involved in fatal accidents.Following voters' legalization of recreational...

Date: 08/25/2015 | Editorials

Crews work to ensure trains will keep rolling when rains hit

EVERETT — Work has started to shore up the worst of the slipping, sliding coastal bluffs above the railroad tracks between Everett and Mukilteo.Mudslides pose a seasonal nuisance — and danger — for Sounder commuters, Amtrak passengers and freight trains.

Date: 08/21/2015 | Local News

Tips for parents of teen drivers

When your child is born, you carefully strap her into her state-of-the-art car seat. You slap “Baby On Board” warning signs in the window. You slow down, keep two hands on the wheel, and suddenly marvel at the dangerous stupidity of other drivers.

Date: 08/18/2015 | Street Smarts

Toyota uses tech to stop distracted driving

Texting at 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field ... blindfolded.

Date: 08/16/2015 | Life

Volkswagen recalls 420,000 vehicles for air bag issue

NEW YORK — Volkswagen is recalling 420,000 vehicles in the U.S. because of a problem that can prevent front air bags from deploying in a crash.

Date: 08/15/2015 | Business Wire

Roadside brush fires nearly double

Summer is usually a busy month for Washington State Department of Transportation crews. But with roughly double the number of roadside brush fires this season compared to last year — more...

Date: 08/12/2015 | Street Smarts

Cities pleased with outcomes

It took 176 days, with two special sessions, including a few extra days tacked on at the end. And with so much riding on a number of outcomes, it was often frustrating to watch as deals were made, dashed and made...

Date: 07/23/2015 | Editorials

Upgrades to North Road near Lynnwood High almost done

LYNNWOOD — After two summers of dust and detours, a rebuilt North Road promises a smoother ride ahead.

Date: 07/22/2015 | Local News

23-car pileup after shooting closes I-5 near Mount Vernon, 6 injured

A dump truck carrying gravel crossed the median of I-5 in Mount Vernon on Saturday, injuring at least six people when it plowed into oncoming traffic that was stopped while police investigated an earlier shooting, authorities said.

Date: 07/18/2015 | Northwest

When it’s OK for motorcycles, bikes to run red light

Floyd Ply rides a motorcycle. Every once in awhile, he hits a light that doesn’t know he’s there.

Date: 07/16/2015 | Street Smarts

How to get where we’re going on transportation

Compromise requires concession, especially when the subjects of transportation, taxes and the environment intersect.It appears the Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee have come to terms on a $16.1 billion transportation budget that should be ready for the governor's signature...

Date: 06/30/2015 | Editorials

State’s economy depends on federal transportation bill

In Northwest Washington, we rely on the usual ways to get ourselves to work, school and recreation: driving our cars on roads, bridges and highways. But we also rely on many other transportation modes. Our ferry system is the largest in the country. And we go motor-free on our legs and...

Date: 06/30/2015 | Commentary

Soon, no more need for U-turn at Seattle Hill intersection

Kristine Scoville of Everett asks: "I am concerned about the intersection of 132nd Street SE and Seattle Hill Road. At this intersection eastbound Highway 96 turns left from 132nd onto Seattle Hill Road. You are also able to make a legal U-turn to access the strip mall on the...

Date: 06/29/2015 | Street Smarts

More people are taking potty breaks at I-5 rest areas

You know them for the free coffee. But rest areas also are a good barometer of an improving economy.Visits to safety rest areas increased statewide by 8.2 percent, to an estimated 22.5 million visits in...

Date: 06/25/2015 | Street Smarts

A united call to pass transportation budget

An open letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, Sens. Mark Schoesler, Sharon Nelson and Curtios King; House Speaker Frank Chopp and Reps. Judy Clibborn and Dan Kristiansen; and all members of the Washington state Legislature:We are writing in a united, bipartisan spirit as leaders,...

Date: 06/25/2015 | Commentary

Feds probe Jeep Wranglers; air bags may not inflate

DETROIT — U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that a wiring problem in Jeep Wrangler steering wheels could stop the air bags from inflating in a crash.The probe covers about 630,000 Wranglers from the 2007 through 2012 model years.

Date: 06/23/2015 | Business Wire

When it’s OK to make a U-turn

Jim Rowlan writes: “I’ve always thought that U-turns are only allowed where they are explicitly allowed and that a left-turn only sign meant just that. Over the past few weeks, I have been nearly hit at the intersection of

Date: 06/16/2015 | Street Smarts

When is it OK to turn right on red from an inside lane?

Terri Snider raised a concern about the intersection of 172nd Street NE and 27th Avenue NE outside...

Date: 06/12/2015 | Street Smarts

Road work aims to make Broadway Avenue safer

SNOHOMISH — Snohomish County is gearing up to build nearly three miles of road shoulder this summer on Broadway Avenue, east of Highway 9.

Date: 06/07/2015 | Local News

Better traction coming to I-5 ramp

A curvy Everett on-ramp prone to crashes in wet weather will get a new kind of surface treatment.Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the ramp over an upcoming weekend (the work is weather dependent). A detour will be...

Date: 06/07/2015 | Street Smarts

A longer queue for left turns onto Jordan Road

This is a familiar problem at heavily used intersections.

Date: 06/03/2015 | Street Smarts

No ‘walkable path,’ no crosswalk

Phyllis Hawkins of Everett writes: The corner of 110th Street SE and 23rd Drive SE in south Everett could really use a crosswalk, even...

Date: 06/02/2015 | Street Smarts

Highway 530 safety signs to be installed in June

OSO — Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews plan to install new signs in early June on Highway 530 in Oso between Steelhead Drive and Whitehorse Trail. The signs will state that it is illegal to stop, stand or make a U-turn.

Date: 05/27/2015 | Local News

Federal gas tax increase is long overdue

The image of Congress kicking the can down the road again comes to mind, except this time lawmakers are running out of good road.Earlier this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a two-month extension of the federal Highway Trust Fund. With the trust fund set to...

Date: 05/22/2015 | Editorials

Crash spurs switch to four-way stop

The intersection of 230th Street SW and 58th Avenue West in Mountlake Terrace has been converted from a 2-way stop to an all-way...

Date: 05/20/2015 | Street Smarts

Self-driving car crashes reported

LOS ANGELES — Google Inc. revealed Monday that its self-driving cars have been in 11 minor traffic accidents since it began experimenting with the technology six years ago.The company released the number after The Associated Press reported that Google had notified...

Date: 05/11/2015 | Business Wire

Traffic jams expected for Lynnwood Chick-fil-A opening

LYNNWOOD — Chick-fil-A is set to open in Lynnwood on Thursday.The Southern fast-food chain, known for simple chicken sandwiches on buttered buns, is sure to...

Date: 05/05/2015 | Business

How wildlife corridors are helping animals and motorists

Get ready. Get set. Go! Dash from the edge of I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass across lanes of traffic going 60 to 75 mph. Reach the median. Take a deep breath. Look for traffic. Wait, wait, go! In this scenario, you live or you're road kill.If you're...

Date: 05/03/2015 | Life

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