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Iowa Law Enforcement will sTEP-Up Enforcement for Thanksgiving Holiday

Des Moines, IOWA — Although 92 percent of Iowa motorists are using safety belts during daytime hours, there are plenty of other drivers and passengers who aren’t, especially in rural communities.  Most of the state’s police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers and Department of Transportation (DOT) officers will participate in a Thanksgiving holiday enforcement effort aimed at encouraging everyone to buckle up.  This one-week enhanced enforcement period, spanning November 19–25, 2012, is another wave of Iowa’s special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP).  The sTEP program joins public outreach efforts with efforts of local enforcement agencies.  The goal is to convince all motorists of the importance of buckling up.  In addition to safety belt violations, officers will also be watching for impaired drivers and other moving violations.

Patrick Hoye, Bureau Chief of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, continues to stress the importance of buckling up during the daytime hours and especially at night.  “Seat belts save lives and that is the bottom line.”  As of November 1, 2012, over 37 percent of the year’s 299 fatalities were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash which claimed their life.  The message is clear: buckling up increases your odds of surviving a major crash.

During the previous sTEP wave in August and September, Iowa officers confronted 2,358 seat belt violations, 847 impaired drivers, 13,443 speeding violations, and a total of over 34,335 other traffic violators.  Vehicle assistance was given to 1,980 motorists and 419 arrest warrants were served.

The next sTEP wave is scheduled for March 14-17, 2013.

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