DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State Patrol announced they are conducting a special enforcement initiative geared toward the reduction of speeding drivers on Thursday. This initiative is part of the statewide Traffic Fatality Reduction Task Force’s effort to reduce deaths on Iowa roadways and will include local law enforcement. The Iowa State Patrol said in a news release that this time period is one of Iowa’s deadliest according to crash data over the past ten years.
Since the start of the pandemic, Iowa has seen a significant increase in drivers greatly exceeding the speed limit, putting everyone on the road in danger. Recent data released from the Iowa State Patrol, tracking speeding violations from January 1 through December 31, 2020, shows a 74 percent increase in drivers exceeding the speed limit by 25 mph or more.
Even more alarming are patterns in the data identifying that a total of 1,497 drivers were cited for speeds that exceeded 100 mph. Violations for these flagrant speeds increased 108 percent compared to the four-year average.
Troopers routinely clocked speeds as high as 121 to 155 mph on roads throughout Iowa.
The task force’s goal for fatalities in Iowa is zero, but the incremental goal for 2021 is under 300, down from 338 in 2020. If achieved, this will be the first time Iowa traffic fatalities were under 300 lives since 1925. As of today, there have been 235 deaths on Iowa’s roadways – that’s 10 more fatalities than this date last year.
Iowa’s multi-discipline Traffic Fatality Reduction Task Force was created in 2021 to implement educational, enforcement, and legislative initiatives to help Iowa achieve the target of less than 300 traffic fatalities annually, with the ultimate goal of zero fatalities. Enforcement is one key element to reduce fatalities. The task force is led by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, the Iowa Department of Transportation, and the Iowa State Patrol.