Police and sheriff’s departments from 14 Iowa counties are taking part in a special traffic enforcement project today. Jim Meyerdirk, with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says it involves the 280 miles of highway known as the Avenue of the Saints.
Meyerdirk says effort starts in northern Iowa near Clear Lake, following Highways 27 and 218, through Keokuk in southern Iowa. Agencies in Missouri will continue the enforcement project from the Iowa border to St. Louis. Motorists on the route should notice plenty of patrol cars.
"I would sure hope so," Meyerdirk said. "We have quite a few officers working different times of the day. It’s going to be a 24 hour event." Police, sheriff’s officers and state troopers are on the lookout for motorists who are speeding or not wearing a seatbelt.
"The main goal is to lower our fatality rate and our serious injury rate," Meyerdirk said. The law enforcement officers are using a variety of special equipment, including aircraft. Meyerdirk says laser sighting radar is being utilized and specially trained K-9 dogs are also be available should the need arise. The Special Traffic Enforcement Project, or STEP, is the first of many planned on Iowa roadways this spring, summer and early fall.