Dozens of law enforcement agencies from 27 counties across the central part of the state are conducting a special traffic enforcement project today. Jim Meyerdirk with the Iowa Department of Public Safety says the effort – dubbed "Operation Double Aught" – will stretch from Missouri Valley to Clinton and Sioux City to Dubuque…and all points in between.
The enforcement covers Highways 20 and 30, plus roadways surrounding those major highways. "All law enforcement agencies in that area have been asked to participate," Meyerdirk said. The area is one of six corridors that will be involved in a special enforcement projects this summer.
Meyerdirk says officers will be looking for impaired drivers, speeders and people not wearing seat belts. "The bottom line is we’re just trying to reduce the fatalities and serious injury accidents," Meyerdirk said. Through the first half of this year, there have been just under 200 fatal traffic crashes on Iowa roads.
"Last year we had 445 fatalities and we feel that is way too much. We’d like to reduce those numbers and that is the main focus for these corridor events," Meyerdirk said. Although the number of fatal crashes this year have dropped, there were 38 traffic deaths in the month of June.
"June was kind of a bad month for us. I would imagine the larger influx of motorcycles coming out contributed to some higher numbers in June," Meyerdirk said. Another special enforcement project was performed June 5th in 14 counties along Highway 61 in eastern Iowa. Meyerdirk says officers issued 491 speeding tickets on that day and arrested four people for drunk driving or carrying drugs.