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Law enforcement makes seatbelt enforcement top priority during Thanksgiving holiday

Published: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 11:30 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES — Iowa law enforcement will be out in force again this Thanksgiving holiday with increased visibility and aggressive traffic enforcement. Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) is announcing extra city, county and state officers will be out in force ensuring traveler’s buckle up, slow down and drive responsibly in order to save lives and reduce crashes.

This high visibility traffic enforcement begins today and runs through Dec. 1.

“The number one priority of this Special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) is to save lives,” said Randy Hunefeld, sTEP coordinator with the GTSB. “According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, nine traffic fatalities occurred during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday, which is just not acceptable.”

Six of those nine deaths were motorists not using seatbelts.

As of Nov. 8, Iowa has lost 263 drivers/occupants to traffic fatalities during 2013; 40 less than a year ago at this time. Almost 39 percent of these deaths were reported as not wearing their seat belts, while 26 percent are listed as unknown or could not be determined.

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