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Legislators Ponder Rumble Strips, Left-Lane Hogs And Back-Seat Belts

Des Moines, Iowa — (RI) — Three traffic-related bills have already emerged in the 2020 Iowa legislature.

A bill to make seat belt use mandatory for back-seat passengers has cleared a subcommittee in the Iowa Senate. Senator Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake says federal statistics show nearly half of the people killed in motor vehicle crashes last year were not wearing a seat belt.

Representative Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids has introduced similar legislation in the HOUSE that would require back-seat passengers to buckle up.

A constituent who works on medical flights told Jones he is concerned about the injuries he’s seeing in traffic accidents.

Another transportation-related bill would let authorities ticket drivers who drive too slowly in the left-hand passing lane. A third bill would direct the D-O-T to put “rumble strips” on all paved county roads that intersect with state and federal highways. The requirement would apply to county blacktops where the speed limit is 55. Representative Dean Fisher of Montour, the bill’s lead sponsor, says the bill was inspired, in part, by a December 1st accident in Benton County that killed a 26-year-old Des Moines woman.

Two other lawmakers are co-sponsoring the bill after fatal wrecks in their districts involving vehicles on a county blacktop that did not stop and were hit while crossing onto a highway.

Rumble strips are indentations carved into a roadway and vehicles rumble when passed over the area. Fisher says he doesn’t like mandates, but rumble strips on paved county roads alert distracted or drowsy drivers a stop sign is ahead.

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