The Iowa State Patrol is starting a program today that focuses on cutting down fatal accidents. Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jessica Lown says the "Safe Saturdays" program will run throughout this month.
Lown says they are taking all troopers and asking them to step up enforcement in areas where they see a high number of fatal accidents, drunk drivers, or people not wearing seatbelts. Lown says this effort is a first in several ways. She says they try to do focused enforcement whenever they can, but this is the first time they’ve done it all in one month, gotten all the officers to do the enforcement and all on Saturdays.
All the troopers in various state patrol districts will work from 5:30 P.M. until 2A.M. on the Saturdays during the project. Lown says they noticed trends that were leading to problems on the weekend. Lown says they were most concerned about the nightime accidents and says 43-percent of the fatal accidents involved people not wearing seatbelts, and many were happening on Saturday night.
The patrol says 65% of the fatal drunk driving accidents in 2008 happened between the hours of 9 P.M. and 3 A.M. Find out the times for the special enforcement in your area here .