Law to be out in force

Iowa law enforcement will be out in force again this Thanksgiving Holiday with increased visibility and aggressive traffic enforcement. The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is announcing extra city, county and state officer will be out in force ensuring travelers buckle up, slow down and drive responsibly in order to save lives and reduce crashes.

This high visibility traffic enforcement will begin Nov. 25 and run through Dec. 1. Randy Hunefeld, Special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) Coordinator said the number one priority of this program is to save lives.

“According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, nine traffic fatalities occurred during the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday, which is just not acceptable,” Hunefeld said.

Six of those nine deaths were motorists not using seatbelts.

As of Nov. 8, Iowa has lost 263 drivers or occupants to traffic fatalities during 2013. That’s 40 less than a year ago at this time. Almost 39 percent of those deaths were reported as not wearing their seat belts, while 26 percent are listed as unknown or could not be determined. Hunefeld said those statistics prove they must make seatbelts a top priority. More than half of all fatalities, not including motorcycles and pedestrians, are the result of drivers or occupants not taking the time to buckle up.

Hunefeld urged every occupant to buckle up when in their vehicle. The numbers show that buckling up increases the odds of surviving a serious crash by 50 percent. For more information, contact Hunefeld at 725-6124.