Northwest Iowa — The Iowa State Patrol, along with county sheriff’s offices, and city police departments from around the state will be participating in a sTEP, or Special Traffic Enforcement Period beginning Monday, May 22nd, and continuing through Sunday, June 4th.
Iowa State Patrol Public Resource Officer, Trooper Vince Kurtz, says the campaign coincides with what is normally considered the first official weekend of the summer season.
Alcohol is often a part of the Memorial Day celebration, and Trooper Kurtz says the patrol doesn’t discourage the use of alcohol, but he says it’s important to plan ahead.
Another thing that officers will be watching for during this period is seat belt use. Statistics show that, while 94% of Iowa’s drivers and front seat passengers are wearing their seat belts, the 6% who aren’t account for nearly 50% of all traffic fatalities in the state.
Kurtz says that, while back seat passengers over the age of 18 aren’t required to wear seat belts, 57% of back seat back seat passengers killed in crashes were not restrained. And unrestrained rear seat passengers have caused serious injury to front seat passengers.
The Trooper also talked about distracted driving
He says that, as you make plans for your Memorial Day travel remember to buckle up, choose a designated driver if alcohol will be part of your celebration, don’t drive distracted, obey the speed limit, and drive defensively.