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Celebrate by buckling up this Fourth

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:32 a.m. CST

DES MOINES — The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau and Iowa law enforcement agencies are teaming up to save lives this Fourth of July holiday by asking everyone to buckle up. July 1-7, law enforcement agencies around the state will be conducting “high visibility” enforcement, cracking down on traffic violators, especially those motorists and occupants not buckled up.

Since its inception in 1986, Iowa’s seat belt law has been a primary law, allowing officers to pull over violators solely for not being belted. A seat belt violation citation will cost you $127.50. If that isn’t enough to entice you to buckle up, how about increasing your chances of surviving a crash by 50 percent. Banking on not being involved in a crash is simply not good math.

As of June 12, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa has experienced 117 traffic fatalities in 2013.

While this is a reduction of 38 fewer deaths than this time last year, every death is one death too many. According to the same data, more than 38.5 percent or 37 fatalities involved individuals who were not using a seat belt.

Help yourself and your family and friends. Buckle Up for every trip, regardless of the distance.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau and Iowa law enforcement agencies wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Remember, if you invest three seconds to buckle up each time you start up your vehicle, you can make the difference in surviving a serious crash. “Buckle Up! Day or Night!”

During the July sTEP wave in 2012, nearly 16,000 total traffic violations including 1,223 seat belt and 4,753 speed violations were reported by 1,444 enforcement officers and 226 agencies around the state.

For more on the Fourth of July mobilization, visit www.iowagtsb.gov or contact: Randy Hunefeld, sTEP Coordinator, Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, at 515-725-6124 or hunefeld@dps.state.ia.us.

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