DES MOINES — In July, state patrol agencies in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska joined forces to address the dangerous trend states are seeing with drivers traveling at excessive speeds, and to encourage drivers to take personal responsibility to keep roadways safe. The five state patrols issued more than 33,000 speeding citations and removed 1,264 impaired drivers from the region’s roadways.
In Iowa alone, Iowa State Patrol troopers issued 7,809 speeding citations, 114 impaired driving and 686 seat belt citations. Summer is a high-traffic volume month for the Midwest and across the country with an increase in road trips, especially now in a year shaped by the current public health emergency.
“These traffic trends are alarming and unprecedented,” says Iowa State Patrol Colonel Nathan Fulk. “High speeds are not only making our Iowa roadways less safe on a daily basis for all of us, but speeding is one of the leading contributing factors in fatality crashes. We need motorists to understand that this type of driving behavior is not the new normal.” Since January, the Iowa State Patrol has seen a 113 percent increase in citations issued (780) for speeds exceeding 100 mph over the four-year average, and a 70 percent increase in citations issued for speeds of 25 mph or more over the posted speed limit (2,119).
The region seeks to reduce the number of speed-related crashes each year. In 2018, the region saw 683 speed-related deaths or 28 percent of those killed in regional traffic crashes. As traffic returns to its normal rate, it is important to continue safe driving practices. Everyone has a role to play in promoting traffic safety on our roads and in our neighborhoods.
To see an additional message from NHTSA Deputy Administrator, James Owens, about the rising dangers of speeding, visit https://bit.ly/SpeedAdvisorySpot. For more information on the risks involving speeding, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/speeding.