In advance of tonight's city-sponsored road safety summit (City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave., Bertha Knight Landes Room), former state transportation secretary Doug MacDonald has a piece in Crosscut that points to a disturbing trend: Even as auto collisions in Seattle have declined, the number of cyclists and pedestrians hit by drivers has risen.[pullquote]"So, with a myriad of steps that can be taken to improve safety, the most fundamental lie with getting the drivers to mind the rules," MacDonald writes.[/pullquote]

Moreover, of nearly 900 collisions between cars and pedestrians or cyclists reported last year, driver behavior was responsible for the collision three times out of four---and in two-thirds of those collisions, the driver simply failed to yield to the pedestrian or cyclist.

"So, with a myriad of steps that can be taken to improve safety, the most fundamental lie with getting the drivers to mind the rules," MacDonald writes.

Unfortunately, the city appears to have been doing just the opposite: Cracking down on jaywalkers while letting bad driver behavior slide. In 2010, SPD issued just 197 tickets to drivers for failing to yield---a 50 percent decline from the previous year. At the same time, SPD issued 1,570 citations to pedestrians, an increase over 2009 of nearly 25 percent.