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


For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Iowa Department of Public Safety
November 18, 2013
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Law Enforcement Will Make Seatbelt Enforcement a Top Priority during the Thanksgiving Holiday

Des Moines, IOWA  -- Iowa law enforcement will be out in force again this Thanksgiving Holiday with increased visibility and aggressive traffic enforcement.  The 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 event will begin November 25, 2013 and run through December 1, 2013.  “The number one priority of this Special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) is to SAVE LIVES.” says 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 11-08-13, Iowa has lost 263 drivers/occupants to traffic fatalities during 2013; 40 less than a year ago at this time.  Almost 39% of these deaths were reported as not wearing their seat belts, while 26% are listed as unknown or could not be determined.  These statistics clearly prove we must make seatbelts a top priority.  More than 50% of all fatalities, not including motorcycles and pedestrians, are the result of drivers/occupants not taking the time to buckle up.

Iowa Law Enforcement wishes everyone a safe Thanksgiving Holiday and requests every occupant buckle up when you are in your vehicle.  The data clearly shows that buckling up alone increases your odds of surviving a serious crash by 50%.  “Buckle Up! Every Trip! Every Time.”

For questions, please contact:
Randy Hunefeld sTEP Coordinator
Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, IA  50319-0248
Phone 515-725-6124
Fax 515-725-6133



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