New Target Zero manager takes command of traffic safety

New Target Zero manager takes command of traffic safety »Play Video

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Yakima County is in the spotlight for DUI enforcement. KIMA learned there's a new manager in town to coordinate those efforts. She's a Target Zero Manager who's job is to make our highways safer.

With more state troops and funding on its way to our county, Action News asks the manager how she plans to put those resources to good use.

DUI enforcement takes some coordination to cover a large area like Yakima County. That's now Camille Becker's job.

"This definitely is not where I thought I was going to be 20 years ago. But it makes perfect sense," Becker said.

Becker brings a health education background with her. She has more than a decade of experience teaching child passenger safety so parents know how to protect their kids.

"It's hell to lose a child, but it's a whole different hell knowing that the decision you made played a role in that, and so I took that with me," she said.

Camille wants to make people here in Yakima County aware of highway dangers - issues like drunk driving and wearing seatbelts.

She will use traffic data to help local law enforcement agencies target DUI patrols along with guiding the North First Street traffic safety effort. A big part of her job is managing federal grant money.

"Each county has their money spent how they need it in their area," said Yakima Police  Sgt. Shawn Boyle.

"In a sense, that means using taxpayer money more efficiently?" Action News asked.

"Yes," Boyle said. "More troopers will be on patrol this summer focused solely on DUI enforcement. The devastation that can come from drunk driving has impacted her family directly.

"My brother-in-law was in a rollover crash," Becker said. "His friends had been drinking, and he was in the backseat and was ejected from the vehicle - and the vehicle landed on his head."

Becker ultimately wants to teach people to make better decisions. She hopes that and tougher enforcement will help further Target Zero's goal of zero traffic deaths and accidents by 2030.

Patrols here in Yakima County could also get a hand from the state. A Senate committee approved a bill

Tuesday that lays out stricter DUI penalties like increasing mandatory jail time for repeat offenders. Governor Jay Inslee said the bill is a priority.