DES MOINES — Heavy traffic is predicted on the roadways this weekend and through the Independence Day holiday.
State Patrol Trooper Paul Gardner says the effort to keep drivers safe includes a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign,” that will be underway across Iowa. “Which runs July 1st through the fifth. And that’s going to be primarily focused on increased law enforcement presence to prevent fatal and serious traffic car crashes related to driving while impaired, alcohol related crashes, and OWI’s,” he says.
He says they are partnering with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Gardner says the effort comes after issues on the roadways during the July 4th holiday. “In 2022, during the Fourth of July weekend statewide there were seven fatalities across the state and four out of those seven fatalities were alcohol related — so that’s over half of those — so that’s something we’re going to try to reduce this year,” he says.
Garner says we are also in the middle of what’s called the “100 deadliest days” for younger drivers. “During the summer months, your teenagers have more freedom because they’re not in school, they don’t have a structured schedule. So they’re more apt to take advantage of that,” he says. “…we see a significant increase with car crashes involving teenagers. And there’s been a 30 percent average increase in the last few years for teenage deaths nationwide. So that’s something we want to address as well.”
Trooper Gardner says the rules of the road don’t change during this holiday period and you should wear your seatbelt, drive the speed limit, and don’t drink and drive.