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DON’T PRESS YOUR LUCK BY NOT BUCKLING UP

Des Moines, IOWA — Beginning March 17, 2011 and continuing through March 20, 2011, Iowa law enforcement will be out in force looking for traffic violators as part of the special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP). This enforcement event is a statewide project to help change driver behavior and encourage motorists to obey traffic laws with an emphasis on buckling up, slowing down and driving sober. During the same effort in 2010, law enforcement reported three traffic fatalities.

Far too many lives are lost each day on Iowa roadways because drivers and passengers don’t obey traffic laws. In January 2011, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation, of the 16 recorded traffic fatalities, 10, or nearly 77%, were not wearing their safety belts. Something as simple as taking 3 seconds to Reach, Pull and Buckle could save 50% of those fatal and serious injuries resulting from crashes where occupants were not buckled.

Randy Hunefeld, sTEP Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, continues to stress how important it is for people to buckle up, slow down, drive sober and obey all traffic laws. Hunefeld admits the safety message has remained the same over the years, but as long as tragic motor vehicle crashes continue, so will the efforts of law enforcement and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.

During the November 23ñ29, 2010 sTEP wave, 1,765 officers from 234 law enforcement agencies across the state reported 19,306 traffic violations. Included in that total were 1,173 safety belt, 7,485 speed, 2,913 equipment, and 2,290 proof of insurance violations. Law enforcement investigated 823 crashes with 12 fatalities.

The next sTEP enforcement project will occur on May 25ñJune 5, 2011. For additional information, go to www.iowagtsb.org or www.nhtsa.dot.gov. |

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