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News briefs: Statistics show speed still kills, Bellevue's Redbox cuts back

Statistics show speed still kills

For decades, the Washington State Patrol has said, “speed kills.” Now, there is a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveying speeding attitudes and behaviors that shows the old adage remains true.

Although traffic fatalities are dropping overall, excessive speed remains a leading cause of preventable deaths. Nationally, about a third of  traffic fatalities are linked to speeding, and that holds true in Washington state. Of the 437 people who died in traffic in 2012, 159 of those deaths included speed as a contributing factor.

“Speeding deaths are entirely preventable,” said Washington state Patrol Chief, John R. Batiste. “They result from the decision to speed. That decision creates risk for not only the speeding driver, but everyone else on the road with them.”

The national survey found that even though 91 percent  of those surveyed agreed people need to slow down, they’re apparently thinking of other people. More than a quarter of those surveyed admit speeding themselves, often “without thinking.”

“Speed causes some collisions, and makes others worse," Batiste said. "It turns what should be fender-benders into ‘fatals.’”

The survey found the most common reason for speeding is running late for an event or appointment.

New photos of Mt. St. Helens found

The Bellingham Herald reported Friday, that photos of Mount St. Helens taken just weeks before the historic volcanic blast that shook the region in 1980, have been found after more than 30 years

Reid Blackburn, a photographer for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash., shot the black and white photographs in April 1980 during a flight over the then-active volcano.

When he got back to The Columbian photo studio, Blackburn set the roll of film aside, the story said. The Columbian staff said they do not know why.

Then, on May 18, 1980, Blackburn died in the volcanic blast that obliterated the mountain peak.

Those unprocessed black-and-white images spent the next three decades coiled inside that film canister.

The Columbian’s photo assistant Linda Lutes recently discovered the roll inside a ripped paper bag in a studio storage box, and it was finally developed. To read the entire story, go to bellinghamherald.com.

Bellevue’s Redbox cuts back

Outerwall, the Bellevue-based company behind CoinStar and Redbox, has cut 8.5 percent of its workforce and is scrapping three new kiosk ventures to improve its profitability heading into the first quarter of 2014.

The company announced earlier this month it is discontinuing other kiosk ventures for Rubi, Crisp Market and Star Studio, which are coffee, food and photo kiosks respectively, but will continue to invest in rolling out of its ecoATM kiosks for recycling electronics and other ventures.

Outerwall also expects to repurchase $195 million of its common stock by year’s end and is seeking a new Redbox president.

 

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