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Iowa law enforcement to crack down on lack of seat belt use next week

In 2023, 45% of traffic fatalities in Iowa were unbuckled. Cops are looking to change that with heavy enforcement.

DES MOINES – The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) is partnering with law enforcement across Iowa to support the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Click It, Don’t Risk It high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, is May 20-June 2, 2024.

It is perceived everyone wears a seat belt, but data shows that’s not true. In 2023, 45% of traffic fatalities in Iowa were unbuckled; that translates to 123 lives lost. In a GTSB survey of over 1,450 Iowans, 88% reported always buckling up in the front seat; only 67% always buckle in the back seat.

“No matter the type of vehicle you’re traveling in, where you’re seated, or what type of road you’re driving on, the best way to protect yourself in a crash is to buckle up,” says Brett Tjepkes, GTSB Bureau Chief. “Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones did not follow this simple step. If this enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider the mission a success.”

If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up, please talk to them about changing their habits. Help GTSB and law enforcement spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to buckle up.

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