by: Natasha Chen Updated:
LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Washington state troopers clocked drivers speeding on Interstate 5 Sunday before the Seahawks game and prepared to keep an eye out for drunk drivers headed home later on.
Starting at 6 a.m. in Lynnwood, one group of troopers stopped several cars, some of which were driven by Seahawks fans trying to get to the game more than six hours early.
“Actually the first two cars they got were Seahawks fans, getting to the game early. Doing a little tailgating,” said Trooper Mark Francis.
KIRO 7 followed along, watching as they pulled over driver after driver. At 7:30 a.m. they stopped another car with two people who were supposed to work with stadium security.
“We’re supposed to be there at 8. That’s why we got pulled over,” said Jack Rhodes.
Authorities said that while many were speeding to CenturyLink Field early in the morning, the worst rush would be an hour or so before the game. They tend to observe people running late and going at high speeds.
“It’s not like we’re out there just writing tickets left and right. We’re trying to change drivers’ behavior,” Francis said.
They’re also trying to prevent major accidents that would shut down a freeway for hours and potentially stop any fans from even being able to get to the game.
Speed is not the only issue. They’re looking for drunk driving, driving while texting, or people not wearing seat belts.
Francis recommends fans designate a driver to stay sober, take a taxi, or use public transit.
“They’ve got Sound Transit; a lot of guys in Whatcom County, they’ll actually take the train down. So I mean there are a lot of options. There’s just not good enough of an excuse to be driving while impaired,” he said.
Troopers will be focusing patrols on the highest collision areas along I-5 every Seahawks Sunday.