MASON CITY, Iowa - As more people take to the roads during the hottest months of the year, an alarming spike in traffic fatalities has Iowa transportation and law enforcement officials announcing stepped-up patrols statewide to curb it.
Iowa DOT data shows there have been 119 fatalities this year already on Iowa roadways, up from 95 from this time last year. In Des Moines on Tuesday, the Iowa Traffic Fatality Reduction Task Force shared its mutli-faceted plan to reduce fatalities. The task force plans to use education, enforcement, engineering and legislation to achieve that goal.
On the local level, Thomas Williams with Iowa State Patrol District 8 says law enforcement agencies have teamed up in what he calls a saturation project.
"We'll get together with Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's office, Mason City PD, concentrate on a certain area, and do a saturation enforcement project where they're viewing speed, seatbelt violations, distracted driving, things like that."
The ultimate goal for the remainder of 2021 is to keep the state under 300 traffic fatalities, something that has not been accomplished since 1925. However, Williams notes that it takes public cooperation to reduce the number.
"It takes the citizens of Iowa to pay attention to these things and make the effort to do them. That's what's going to bring these numbers down. It takes an effort from the public to pay attention to the laws."
Ahead of Father's Day weekend, law enforcement agencies statewide will conduct a special enforcement event geared towards the reduction of impaired drivers leading into the weekend.
Of the 119 fatalities on Iowa roadways, 8 of those were in District 8, which includes Cerro Gordo County.