DES MOINES — Law officers issued more than 33,000 speeding tickets and removed 1,264 impaired drivers from highways in five states where they set up a coordinated enforcement effort in July, officials said Friday.
Col. Nathan Fulk, head of the Iowa State Patrol, said patrol agencies in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska joined forces to address the dangerous trend their states are seeing with drivers traveling at excessive speeds, and to encourage drivers to take personal responsibility to keep roadways safe.
In Iowa, state troopers issued 7,809 citations for speeding, 114 for impaired driving and 686 seat belt citations.
“These traffic trends are alarming and unprecedented,” Funk said.
“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, Fulk said, the Iowa State Patrol has seen a 113 percent increase in citations issued (780) for speeds exceeding 100 mph over the four-year average. Also, he said there has been a 70 percent increase in citations issued for speeds of 25 mph or more over the posted speed limit (2,119).
Summer is a high-traffic period with an increase in road trips, he said, especially now in a year shaped by the public health emergency.
Fulk said law officers in the five-state region are seeking 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.