National Night Out to be observed in Clark County

Law enforcement and community members will come together to promote neighborhood safety and partnership on Tue., Aug. 6

VANCOUVER — September tends to be a dangerous month on Washington roads, with 258 total fatal crashes in September in Washington state from 2013 to 2017 — the highest cumulative total by month above any other month. In Clark County, there have been 33 fatalities during the months of July to September from 2013 to 2017. More than one-third were people who were walking.

National Night Out to be observed in Clark County
Clark County law enforcement and community members will come together to promote neighborhood safety and partnership as part of National Night Out on Tue., Aug. 6. Local safety agencies will host these events, such as barbeques and meet and greets, to give law enforcement and community members the opportunity to connect and talk about the most important safety matters. Photo by Mike Schultz

Fortunately, Clark County law enforcement and community members will come together to promote neighborhood safety and partnership as part of National Night Out on Tue., Aug. 6, in communities across Clark County. Local safety agencies will be hosting these events, such as barbeques and meet and greets, to give law enforcement and community members the opportunity to connect and talk about the most important safety matters.

National Night Out is an annual event that occurs the first Tuesday in August, designed to bring law enforcement and community members together to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Activities across the country may vary but always help promote safety and partnership. 

“National Night Out allows us to build a safer community in a very positive environment. Whether it’s having a friendly conversation with a local police officer, or talking with your neighbors about how to make your neighborhood safer, National Night Out gives us the time and space to have those meaningful conversations,” says Hilary Torres, the Clark and Skamania County Target Zero Task Force manager.

One of Torres’ goals in participating in National Night Out is to discuss the importance of traffic safety — particularly for people who walk, which has been a particular focus for the Clark and Skamania Target Zero Task Force over the last few years due to an increase in traffic incidents involving people walking. A combination of enforcements, outreach and media, made possible by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, has helped move toward improved safety for people who walk.

“One of Target Zero’s goals is to encourage a positive traffic safety culture in Washington state. We celebrate community members who are making smart traffic safety decisions — and people who take the time to talk to a loved one about the importance of being safe while driving or walking,” says Torres.

An important component of the campaign is to encourage motorists to do their part to keep people who walk safe by slowing down, reducing distractions, and always yielding. People who walk should avoid wearing dark clothing at night, always make eye contact with drivers before crossing, and cross only at marked crosswalks. These simple steps have the power to save lives.

To see if there’s a National Night Out event in your neighborhood, check your town’s website or neighborhood association’s social media pages. 

Information provided by Clark Co. Traffic Safety Task Force — Target Zero.

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