Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release:  
Wednesday, July 24, 2013  
Des Moines, Iowa  

Iowa to Serve as the Hub for “I-80 Challenge!”

Des Moines, IOWA --- Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau along with the Iowa State Patrol is honored to host fourteen (14) state highway patrol leaders, along with Administrator Anne Ferro of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at our State Capitol as each agency accepts the “I-80 Challenge” on July 24th, 2013. These law enforcement leaders will collectively challenge motorists across the nation to accept the challenge by eliminating fatalities July 24th - July 31st, 2013.  Conceived by Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Chief, Patrick Hoye, the “I-80 Challenge” was organized following targeted research which highlighted an increase in traffic fatalities along Interstate 80 during the summer vacationing period.  The “I-80 Challenge” is a collaborative effort to eliminate ALL traffic fatalities across the entire 2,900 miles of Interstate 80 from July 24-31, 2013.

The focus of the “I-80 Challenge” across the entire 2900 miles is to create public awareness through both an increased law enforcement presence and media outreach.  The 11 state highway patrol agencies along Interstate 80 have each dedicated an increased presence of troopers for each of the eight days during this challenge.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration join their state and local law enforcement partners to implement combined highway safety law enforcement campaigns, like More Cops. More Stops, which focuses enforcement on multiple traffic safety laws at one time.For more information on the More Cops More Stops campaign, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.  By working together we can reduce crashes in high volume areas with strong enforcement and increased public awareness,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro.  “With more police officers making more stops, we can improve roadway safety and ultimately save lives.”

I-80 Challenge

Nationally, in 2011, more than 21,000 passenger vehicle occupants across the nation were killed in traffic crashes. Of those fatalities, 52 percent were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes. Approximately 9,900 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, with more than 3,330 killed in fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, and nearly 10,000 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes.   “The Interstate 80 Challenge is a great example of how law enforcement agencies can work together in partnership with the motoring public to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our nation’s highways.”  J. A. Farrow, Commissioner, California Highway Patrol.

Analyzing 10 years of Interstate 80 crash data across Iowa reveals more than 17,274 crashes, or an average of 4.73 crashes each day! Statistically, a serious injury or fatal crash occurs every four days on Interstate 80 in Iowa.  49% of all crashes were speed related, with 67% of drivers traveling above the posted speed limit of 70 mph and 5% of motorists exceeding 80 mph.  “Please support traffic safety by reducing speed and creating a safe following distance.  Eliminating distractions and refraining from consuming alcohol when you plan to travel will greatly decrease your chances of becoming involved in a traffic collision.”  Colonel David W. Garrison, Iowa State Patrol.  

Local law enforcement agencies along the Interstate 80 corridor have each also received the “I-80 Challenge” to both encourage their participation and to organize enforcement partnerships designed to reduce crashes in high volume/high population areas.

Please join this national law enforcement initiative to eliminate traffic crashes-especially those causing injuries across Interstate 80 by accepting and promoting the “I-80 Challenge”.

For questions, call Patrick Hoye, Bureau Chief, Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau at 515-725-6120.

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