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Occupant Protection

Q: It is well established that seat belts save lives. However, many pregnant women do not wear seat belts, for fear that the belt itself could injure the baby in a car crash. But is this actually the case? Does the seat belt put the baby at risk?

A: A group of researchers led by Dr. Stacie Zelman from Wake Forest University examined a national database of over two million injured patients, and found over 2,400 pregnant women injured in car crashes. Women wearing a seat belt, having an air bag, or both were significantly less likely to have pregnancy-related complications than women with neither a seat belt nor an air bag. The combination of a seat belt and air bag resulted in the lowest rate of complications.

The researchers conclude that pregnant women should use seat belts with confidence that they will help, not hurt, in a crash.

Q: When can children ride in a forward facing car seat?

A:  Iowa law states a child under 1 year old and weighing less than 20 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child restraint system.  Best practice would be to keep children in an appropriate rear facing seat well beyond this time until the maximum weight limit of the seat is reached. 


Q: When can I apply for a GTSB grant?

A: The application period for 402 (non-sTEP) and 405d grants begins mid-Jan and closes on Feb 28th. You can apply for sTEP grants beginning in March and the applications close April 30th.

Q: If our department's needs change, can we make changes to our GTSB contract?

A: Although changes are discouraged because the Highway Safety Plan has already been approved by NHTSA, changes can be made on a case by case basis until August 1st of the contract year. Agencies must submit a request in writing for consideration. If approved, a new HSP 2 and approval letter will be sent to the requesting agency.

Q: Can an agency apply for more than one traffic safety grant?

A: Yes, however each agency will be awarded only one grant per FFY.

Q: Where can I find a list of authorized equipment for purchase?

A: A list can be found on our home page GTSB Approved Equipment Information and also on the Forms page.


Q: Are data and fact sheets available on the site?

A: Yes, data and fact information can be found at

Q: Where can I find crash data for my local area?

A: Crash data can easily be found on the Iowa Department of Transportation web site at


Q: Are there videos or Public Service Announcements (PSA) available for public use?

A: Yes, PSA’s and other information is available at  

Q: Can you be arrested and convicted for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in Iowa if you are under the influence of a drug other than alcohol?

A: Yes – Iowa law states that it is illegal to be under the influence of any   amount of any substance   (controlled or otherwise) and operate a motor vehicle anywhere in the state. Any substance means any illegal substance i.e.: methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana etc., prescription medications if taken contrary to medical professionals directions and they impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely or any substance that when taken into the human body that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Q: Does GTSB have a program for senior drivers? 

A: Yes, GTSB has partnered with AARP to train/certify technicians and hold CarFit events for senior drivers.  CarFit is a free, interactive and educational program that teaches participants how to make their personal vehicle “fit” them to increase safety and mobility when they hit the road.

Q: What is a Multidisciplinary Safety Team (MDST)?

A: Refer to the MDST Guide for complete inormation.




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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 09-22-2010 (JLR)
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