A statewide law enforcement effort is getting underway today to remind motorists to buckle-up, obey the speed limit and avoid driving drunk. Randy Hunefeld, with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says a similar project was conducted last year over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Last year’s effort resulted in 17,457 traffic violations. That total included 457 people arrested for drunken driving. Hunefeld says 411 people were killed in traffic accidents in Iowa in 2008, with 111 of those tied to alcohol.
"As you can tell, even though we rank second in the nation for lowest number of alcohol-related fatalities, we still have quite a few," Hunefeld said. The statewide traffic enforcement effort runs today through next Tuesday, which is St. Patrick’s Day.
"It’s one of those non-official holidays that a lot of people like to go out and party, so we like to have extra officers out there to try and get those drunk drivers off the road before they hurt somebody," Hunefeld said. Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death among persons between the ages of 5 and 34. Around 32-percent of all traffic deaths in the U.S. are alcohol-related.