Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office


Des Moines, IOWA --- This week, thousands of Iowa children head back to school. The Iowa Department of Public Safety wants to remind drivers to slow down and eliminate distractions while behind the wheel.

August has been a deadly month on Iowa’s roadways. From August 1-August 22, 2010, 40 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. 29 people died in the entire month of August 2009.

Public Safety Commissioner Eugene Meyer urges drivers to pay keen attention to the roadway. Commissioner Meyer said, “As summer comes to an end and kids head back to school, it’s important that drivers slow down, buckle up and refrain from using handheld electronic devices, like cell phones and iPods. Drivers need to be alert and aware whether they’re on the highway or just a few blocks from home.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that over 5,000 fatal crashes each year in the United States, or 1 fatal crash in 6, involves some form of distracted driving. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for all persons ages 5 through 34 in the United States. Last year alone, a total of 372 persons died in Iowa traffic crashes. Iowa's fatality total was the lowest since WWII.


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