AMES, Iowa — Traffic fatalities in Iowa this year are more than 13% higher than the average number of fatalities over the last five years.
One of the keys to reducing fatalities and major crashes is to bring awareness to the problem, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
The Iowa departments of transportation and public safety, along with support from local law enforcement partners, are teaming up to create safety corridors across the state.
“The Iowa State Patrol is committed to reducing traffic collisions, injuries and preventable deaths on Iowa roadways. We are confident that we can accomplish these goals with collaboration, strong partnerships, and a concerted effort on traffic safety. By working together, we can collectively and proactively address safety concerns across the state of Iowa,” said Colonel Nathan Fulk, Iowa State Patrol.
Using 2016-20 crash data, six sections of roadways have been identified for focus over the next year:
- U.S. 20 from Lawton to Moville in Woodbury County.
- U.S. 6 from East of Council Bluffs to US 59 in Pottawattamie County.
- I-80 from County Road F-48 to Newton in Jasper County.
- Iowa 5 from Iowa 92 to the Monroe County line in Marion County.
- U.S. 218 from Mt. Pleasant to County Road J-20 (near Salem) in Henry County.
- Iowa 2 from Donnellson to U.S. 61 in Lee County.
These areas ranked in the top 1% statewide for all crashes and severe crashes, according to the news release. They also had a higher number of single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes and rear-end crashes at intersections with speeding and distraction as major causes.
Drivers may notice the safety corridor marked with signs. Pavement markings in those areas have been widened to help drivers more easily see them in low-light and inclement weather. In addition, the Iowa State Patrol and local law enforcement will have an increased focus on enforcing the area.
“We have seen speeds and distraction behind the wheel rise and only 40 percent of those who die on Iowa’s roads are wearing a seatbelt. Unfortunately, our state’s climbing fatality rates are showing the consequences of our individual decisions behind the wheel. We all have someone who is expecting us to return from each trip safely. Creating safety corridors is just another way the DOT can help remind drivers of the role they play in making sure everyone returns home safely,” said Scott Marler, Iowa Department of Transportation director.
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