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Mercer Island police officers honored for efforts to lower traffic deaths

Mercer Island police Sergeant Jim Robarge along with Officer Robb Kramp, Officer Scott Hyderkhan and Officer Dave Herzog were among those honored for their contributions toward low traffic fatalities in King County.

They and other local law enforcement and community partners in traffic safety were honored recently for their contributions to making King County residents safer today on the roads than ever, and their commitment in working to reduce traffic fatalities even further.

“Traffic safety is a public health issue that affects everyone who wants to move on our streets and sidewalks,” said Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

On average, 24 fewer people died annually in 2007 and 2008, compared with the 2002-2006 period, a drop from an average of 118 deaths annually to 94. This downward trend appears to continue in 2009, with data showing a further drop to 76 deaths from crashes.

As key partners in traffic safety, DUI patrol officers from 28 local law enforcement agencies were recognized for their work in contributing to safe roads by arresting drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving is the leading cause of traffic fatalities in King County.

Many factors contribute to the drop in fatalities, including enforcement of (DUI) laws, better automotive safety equipment, seatbelt usage and traffic engineering improvements.

Crashes kill and injure all road users: drivers and passengers as well as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

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