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Iowa Will Step Up Traffic Enforcement This Week

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is announcing that some 250 law enforcement agencies from around the state will be on the roads beginning March 15th and continuing through March 18th for this year’s second special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) wave. They will be looking not only for drunk drivers and safety belt violators but for all traffic violations.

With the record number of traffic fatalities (59) that occurred this January and February, officers will be stepping up their enforcement activity in hopes of slowing down that trend throughout the rest of the year. Of the 59 fatalities in the last two months, 30% or 17 were unbelted and 8 were identified as unknown.

Iowa’s sTEP Coordinator Randy Hunefeld advised that all law enforcement agencies in the state, whether big or small, need to be proactive with their traffic safety efforts and constantly continue to educate and enforce traffic laws to change driver behavior.

In 2011, Iowa recorded 363 traffic fatalities. This is a 66-year record low, yet it represents nearly one life lost each and every day. While this decreased number is far better than the 412 fatalities Iowa averaged during the previous five years, it is still an enormous tragedy, especially if one of those fatality victims was near and dear to you.

According to Hunefeld, during last year’s March 2011 sTEP enforcement wave there were 242 participating agencies (167 city police departments, 72 counties sheriffs’ offices and three state agencies) that reported activity resulting in 18,284 traffic citations and warnings being issued.

The next sTEP enforcement wave will be May 21 – June 3, 2012, during the National Click It or Ticket campaign.

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