Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa could close 2018 with its lowest traffic fatality figure in over seven decades.
Patrick Hoye, chief of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says that, heading into the final weekend of the year, around 312 people have died in crashes on Iowa roads in 2018. That puts the state on pace to improve on a low fatality count posted five years ago.
It’s no cause for celebration, but Hoye credits the dip in fatal crashes this year to several factors – including changes in traffic laws.
A law that made texting while driving a “primary” offense took effect on July 1, 2017. Prior to that, police could only issue a citation for texting while driving if the officer stopped the driver for another offense. Hoye believes more Iowans are staying off their phone when they’re behind the wheel.
Hoye says it appears traffic fatalities in Iowa are trending in the right direction.
Motorists who are caught texting while driving in Iowa can face a fine of over $100.