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Auto Theft in WA


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Hi everyone,

Our legislature passed a bill, signed by our governor (may I here say that the legislature is D dominated and the Governor is D), and became law, that restricted police from chasing anyone in a car for just about any reason whatsoever.   There were  butfew exceptions, car theft, speeding, no license, no tabs, and ramming into a police car were not among them.   Only the most heinous offense could be pursued by police and only if they saw the dastardly deed happen.   If they saw shoplifting happen, they could not pursue.   If they saw an accident, they could not pursue.   If they saw someone speeding on the freeway at 100+ mph, they could not pursue.   The bill became law in July of 2021. 

You can see one of the results.


The law was passed to make roads safer.   What it did is defacto increase speeds on the roads and and increase auto thefts.   The legislature was very cool to the idea of repealing this very bad piece of legislation.   But it appears a new bill will pass the legislature but watered down so that car thievery still is not a reason to pursue.   This was all in the wake of the 2020 riots all over the country and the idea that the police need to be clamped down on.    This is but one result of such mindlessness.  

But faced with the facts, the legislature would not move on this very hard.   The original bill put back the language prior to the present law.   That was watered down with amendments until it virtually did nothing.   So what is passing is really not enough.  

This law that allows all this was specifically written to increase criminal activity.   Whether intended or not, that is the result.   Another result, last month a guy was going over 100 mph on I-90.   Police could not pursue.   The car was later involved in a homicide that killed two teens while going high speed the wrong way on I-82.   In the past, the car would have been stopped before that accident.   Now they can't do that.   This as a direct result of this boneheaded law. 



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No it was in response to George Floyd anti-cop rhetoric.    They said it would increase safety on the roads with fewer chases.   But that hasn't been the case. 


2022 Saw Most Traffic Deaths on Washington Roads Since 1990

Impairment by drugs or alcohol implicated in more than half of fatal crashes

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2023

OLYMPIA – The Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s (WTSC) initial data for 2022 shows the greatest number of deaths on Washington roads and highways since 1990. Preliminary reports show that 745 people were killed in crashes last year.

Impairment by drugs and alcohol is involved in more than half of fatal crashes. According to a December 2022 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Alcohol-involved crashes resulted in 14,219 fatalities, 497,000 nonfatal injuries, and $68.9 billion in economic costs in 2019….”

“During 2017 through 2021, 32 percent of fatal crashes in Washington involved alcohol positive drivers,” said WTSC Director Shelly Baldwin. “Alcohol impairment, whether alone or in combination with other drugs, continues to be a leading risk factor in traffic fatalities.”

Health and safety experts have long advocated for states to reduce the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) per se limit for DUI from 0.08 to 0.05 percent. The state of Utah and more than 100 countries have set BAC limits at 0.05 percent or less. The Washington Legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 5002, which would change the state’s limit to 0.05.

“The goal of this bill is not to increase the number of DUI arrests but to remind and encourage people to avoid driving after drinking and thereby save lives. This was the outcome in Utah, and we expect a similar impact in Washington State,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste.

At a BAC of 0.05 percent, a driver has reduced coordination and ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and delayed response to emergency driving situations. “The evidence is clear that a driver’s ability to drive safely and react to unexpected traffic conditions is affected when their BAC reaches 0.05 percent,” Baldwin said.

The WTSC reminds all people in Washington that there are simple things we can do to prevent impaired driving like planning ahead for a sober ride home if you will be out drinking. Friends and loved ones can help to prevent DUIs by being a sober designated driver, calling a rideshare, or offering a place to sleep.

WTSC analysis shows impaired drivers are more likely to speed and less likely to wear seat belts. These factors increase crash risk and are more likely to result in death.

Remember, that law about police chase went into effect in Jul 2021.   The above is saying road deaths increased in 2022.   The law did not help reduce road deaths.  




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