Des Moines, IOWA — Eleven State Police/Highway Patrol Agencies concluded the eight day effort to eliminate fatalities across the nation along the 2900 miles of Interstate 80 at midnight on July 31, 2013. The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has received information indicating two fatalities occurred during the eight day enforcement and education program. These fatalities occurred in Nebraska and Ohio. Fortunately, Iowa did not experience a fatal collision during the I-80 Challenge.
Motorists surveyed in Iowa reported a noticeable increase in the law enforcement presence along I-80 and complimented the use of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s dynamic messages boards to stress safety.
I80 Challenge “The I-80 Challenge was conducted with one imperative goal in mind: saving lives. The collaboration of law enforcement officers for this traffic safety campaign is admirable and should inspire future traffic safety initiatives aimed at saving lives on our nation’s highways,” said Patrick Hoye, Bureau Chief, Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. Law enforcement leaders knew eliminating all fatal collisions during this eight day period was an aggressive goal and would be extremely tough to achieve. But for highway safety professionals, accepting even a single fatality is unthinkable. The overarching goal of the I-80 Challenge was to change driver behavior, increase seatbelt usage and eliminate impaired and drowsy drivers along our roadways. Although the I-80 Challenge has ended, every day ahead is an opportunity to focus on safety and save lives. Law Enforcement and motorists must accept the challenge to eliminate needless deaths.
Over the next several days, the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau will receive data from each of the participating agencies, covering more than a dozen categories. Once the data is collected, a comprehensive report will be released, both to the public and to the state/federal partner agencies. This report will include detailed information concerning the number/type of collisions, enforcement outcomes, criminal activity, and commercial vehicle involvement. Colonel David Sankey, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol said, “Through the I-80 Challenge we were given the opportunity to work with our fellow law enforcement officers across the nation to reduce serious injury and fatality crashes and in the process raise awareness of the need for voluntary compliance of all traffic safety laws. We look forward to learning the outcomes and looking to enhance the initiatives in the future.”