Iowa law officers begin a two week "Click it or Ticket" program today focused on getting people to use their seatbelts. The Bureau Chief for the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, Larry Sauer, says Iowa has been a leader in buckling up, but there is still room for improvement.
He says Iowa is at about 93% seatbelt usage, and they are happy with that rate, but they’d still like to see more people buckling up. Sauer says no buckling up can be a fatal mistake. Sauer says over 170 people not wearing a seatbelt died in crashes in Iowa.
He says in 2007 there were 180 who died who were not wearing seatbelts, but he says there can still be improvement. Sauer says people are killed in crashes in Iowa at the rate of one per day.
Sauer says the "Click it or Ticket" program is starting this week to make people aware before the big Memorial Day holiday. Sauer says there will be extra officers out all across the state on the local, state and county level, as those agency use federal money to put the officers on patrol. Sauer says they also plan to target hours where there have been problems.
Sauer says there were 111 people killed in drunken driving crashes, and 67% of those deaths occurred between the hours of nine p.m. and three A.M. So he says 25% of the time resulted in two-thirds of the alcohol related traffic deaths. Saur says you can avoid problems by simply using your seatbelt and not using alcohol while driving.