DES MOINES– In June, 2007, Iowa saw the lowest number of motor vehicle fatalities since 1982. Now, in 2009, thanks to the strong efforts of the Iowa State Patrol and the Safe Saturday Project, Iowa is on track to blow that record out of the water.
Each Saturday over the last month, every Trooper with the Iowa State Patrol, regardless of rank, worked a Safe Saturday Project on roadways throughout the state. The increased staffing translated into big numbers on citations. Compared to Saturdays in June, 2008, Troopers increased their OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) arrests by 120 percent. Additionally, they increased their speeding citations by 81 percent and their seat belt citations 51 percent over those written in June, 2008.
“Increased enforcement is so much more than a way to encourage compliance with the law. It’s how we prevent injury and save lives,” commented Col. Patrick J. Hoye. “The proof is in the numbers. Our Safe Saturday enforcement helped reduce motor vehicle fatalities this month. What a success.”
Statistics show Saturday is one of the deadliest nights of the week on the road. But during this year’s Safe Saturday Project, Troopers responded to just one fatality on a Saturday night. This year, the preliminary June motor vehicle fatality count is 30, the lowest June fatality count in 27 years, proving enforcement is key to saving lives on Iowa roadways.
The Iowa State Patrol is overwhelmed and excited at the success of the Safe Saturday Project. The leadership of the Department of Public Safety and Iowa State Patrol is already looking forward to another opportunity to execute another month of Safe Saturdays.