Many Iowans will flee their offices this afternoon to get the Fourth of July holiday started early. An extra 82 State Troopers will just be entering their mobile offices to join their colleagues on the highway. Patrol spokesman, Lieutenant Rob Hansen says the extra troopers are part of the national “CARE”, or combined accident reduction effort. He says federal funding allows them to bring the extra troopers in from their day off to patrol the state’s highways. Forecasts call for an increase in travel, and Hansen doesn’t think any different. Last year there was an extra day of travel with the holiday on a Thursday, and Hansen says troopers assisted 500 motorists. Hansen says they’ll be checking for the normal speed and seatbelt violations — and will be on the lookout for those who downed a few drinks before hitting the road. He says three of four fatal accidents last year on the Fourth involved alcohol, and 54 people were charged with drunk driving. He says troopers don’t discourage celebration, they just encourage you to celebrate responsibly without drinking and driving. Hansen says one thing the troopers won’t be targeting is illegal fireworks.He says most of the fireworks purchased in Missouri and South Dakota aren’t illegal to possess, so he says they won’t be targeting them unless they’re being shot off on the highway. Hansen says motorists are encouraged to use their cell phones to report any erratic drivers on the roadways.
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