MLT police pulling over more drivers

By Doug Petrowski

While police departments in neighboring cities have conducted fewer traffic stops this year in comparison to 2011, drivers in Mountlake Terrace are being pulled over at an increasing rate in 2012 compared to previous years, according to statistics released by the Mountlake Terrace Police Department last week.

In the first nine months of 2012, Mountlake Terrace police officers conducted 6,126 traffic stops, a 6 percent increase from the 5,793 stops made during the same time period of 2011.

The City of Edmonds saw a 24 percent decrease in the number of traffic stops conducted by their police department in January-September, 2012, from their total of stops made during the same nine months of 2011. In the same time frames the Lynnwood Police Department conducted 31 percent fewer stops in 2012 than in 2011. Brier police saw their number of traffic stops go down 29 percent.

With the increased number of traffic stops in Mountlake Terrace during the first three quarters of 2012 came a higher number of tickets written. From January-September, 2012, the Mountlake Terrace Police Department issued 3,329 traffic infractions, up from 3,213 during the same time frame of 2011.

Leadership at the Mountlake Terrace PD is pleased with the increased number of traffic stops in the city. “We’re pretty proud that we are moving in an upper direction in this category,” said Commander Don Duncan. “What this means is our officers are out being visible and aggressive in their traffic enforcement.”

Duncan noted that almost half of the drivers pulled over during the first three quarters of 2012 in Mountlake Terrace were not issued traffic infractions.

“It means our officers are not just giving people tickets. We’re stopping people, we’re being visible, and this has a collateral impact on traffic safety and driver behavior,” Duncan added. “By being out there, people seeing the patrol cars, seeing the lights going, they slow down, and slower speeds mean better traffic safety.”

Of the police departments in South Snohomish County, only Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and Mill Creek conducted more traffic stops in January-September, 2012, than they did during the same time frame of 2011. Stops in Woodway were up 6 percent, matching the percentage increase of Mountlake Terrace; stops in Mill Creek were up 5 percent. Mukilteo saw the biggest decrease in stops, down 39 percent in 2012 from the January-September, 2011, totals.

The traffic stops and traffic infraction statistics were part of the 2012 Third Quarter Police Department Update provided to the Mountlake Terrace City Council on Nov. 29. You can view the entire report here.

  1. It would be helpful to know why the cities other than Mountlake Terrace, Woodway & Mill Creek had a decreased number of traffic stops.  Fewer officers than before, efforts being directed elsewhere, etc?


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