Tens of thousands of Iowans will be hitting the road this week for the 4th of July holiday. Not only will law enforcement be enforcing Iowa’s new cell phone law banning texting and more while behind the wheel, but they will be in full force across the state to crack down on drunk drivers, distracted drivers, speeders and other traffic violators.
Read the full news release issued by the Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPS) below:
In conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday period, Iowa law enforcement agencies are announcing they will again be out in full force starting July 2nd through the 5th, cracking down on impaired drivers and other traffic violators to prevent crashes and save lives.
With hopes of warmer weather and an extended weekend, law enforcement will gear up for the 4th of July weekend. In addition to speed and seat belt violators, they will target drunk drivers. “Driving while drunk isn’t worth the tremendous risk,” said Larry Sauer, Bureau Chief at the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. “No matter your age, if you’ve had too much holiday spirit, you’d better find a safe and sober ride home or your chances of arrest are high.”
Sauer cited recent statistics to underscore the importance of the crackdown. “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during the 2008 July 4th holiday period (6:00 p.m. Thursday July 3rd to 5:59 a.m. Monday July 7th), our nation recorded a total of 491 traffic-related deaths.”
Although Iowa had only 2 traffic fatalities in 2009, our 10-year average for this holiday period is 5. “Too many people still fail to understand that not buckling up, not driving the speed limit and driving impaired leads to loss of lives. It’s vitally important that we bring this tragic situation to an end,” said Sauer. “The cost of not obeying these and other traffic laws could be your life or the life of a loved one.”
During the 2009 July sTEP wave (special Traffic Enforcement Program), 237 agencies had contact with 472 alcohol/drug impaired drivers, 1,465 seat belt violators and 6,435 speed violators. In all, more than 16,200 traffic violations were recorded. Beyond these violations, officers assisted 844 motorists, investigated 344 traffic crashes and apprehended 143 wanted persons.
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