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Iowa law enforcement trying to curb the rapidly increasing rate of 2021 traffic fatalities

Iowa has already seen 119 traffic fatalities in 2021
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:36 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) - On Tuesday law enforcement and government officials held a press conference to address the current record pace of traffic fatalities has seen in 2021. In 2020, despite many staying home more often and working remotely due to the pandemic, Iowa saw its highest number of traffic fatalities since 2016 with a total of 119.

Since the pandemic began, Iowa State Patrol said they’re seeing some of the most dangerous driving in their program’s history.

“Since the Pandemic, we’ve encountered some of the most dangerous driving in our 85-year history. Excessive speed and impaired driving skyrocketed in 2020, this year, speeds of 25 mph or more over the speed limit are up 36% (from last year),” ISP Colonel Nathan Fulk said.

“Excessive speeding has been a huge problem here lately, our speeds of over 100 miles an hour are up 30% over the five-year average,” ISP Lieutenant Brian Votroubek.

Votroubek said one of the most frustrating things is that many serious injuries or fatalities are preventable.

“When you get to the severe weather or heavy traffic, especially on the interstate, keep a really safe following distance, you never know what the cars in front of you are doing and stay off your electronic devices. We get a lot of rear-end collisions or accidents where people are switching lanes because they’re busy on their electronic devices,” Votroubek said.

ISP is concerned about rates going up as the country hits one of its deadliest stretches of the year.

“This trend is especially concerning since Memorial Day, Memorial Day Weekend...is the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of the year for traffic fatalities,” Fulk said.

To help address the issue, Fulk said more law enforcement will be on the road until June 12.

“June 9-12, there’s going to be a heightened awareness and an increased presence of law enforcement working Iowa roadways,” Fulk said.

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