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Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau wins national award

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-10-46-51-amSAN DIEGO, California – On October 18, 2016, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) was recognized as a recipient of a National Law Enforcement Challenge Award at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in San Diego, California.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau was awarded first place in the Regional Enforcement Efforts category for its efforts in coordinating and implementing the High-Five Rural Traffic Safety Project in the state of Iowa.

In April of 2014, the Iowa GTSB initiated the High Five Rural Traffic Safety Project as 2012 data revealed 72% of fatal crashes in the state were occurring on secondary rural roads. After the analysis of data and consideration of safety belt usage survey rates, five rural counties were chosen to participate in the project: Allamakee, Fremont, Marion, Palo Alto, and Webster. Those five counties, along with the Iowa State Patrol received special funding through the GTSB to work overtime enforcement with the primary focus being occupant protection. The High Five counties were required to conduct high visibility enforcement projects, seat belt surveys and educational components. Law enforcement officials were also encourage to work with county engineers and other traffic safety professionals to conduct a road safety audit within the county..

Because of the success of the project and the importance of continuing partnerships with traffic safety partners, the program continues in the state. Currently the five counties in which the project is being implemented include Cass, Cerro Gordo, Clayton, Hardin, and Warren. In addition, other states are also implementing similar programs because of the success seen in Iowa.

The National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) recognizes and awards excellent law enforcement traffic safety programs, focusing on impaired driving, occupant protection, and speeding. The NLEC is supported through a cooperative agreement between the IACP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and in partnership with the National Sheriff’s Association, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

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