A beefed up law enforcement effort is underway around the state for the Independence Day weekend. Iowa State Patrol Trooper Mark Domino says they’ll be looking for speeders, drunk drivers and those who are texting while driving. He’s also reminding motorists to buckle-up, but he’s noticed most Iowans are obeying the seat belt law.
“I believe we’re up to 93-percent (compliance). I travel the interstates and the four-lanes a lot and to try and find somebody not wearing their seat belt is really tough,” Domino said. The Iowa Department of Public Safety reports 214 agencies participated in the Fourth of July traffic enforcement project last year and officers stopped 4,592 drivers for speeding. Domino, who’s based in Mason City, says his patrol post has enlisted the help of an aircraft to catch speeders this year.
“He’s going to be on the four lanes probably, but he could be on the two lanes, we never know when we get assigned to the aircraft,” Domino said. “We’re going to be using the LIDAR, which is a laser type radar…so we’re going to use the tools which the state has given us.” During last year’s holiday enforcement project, officers had contact with 353 impaired drivers, over 1,000 seat belt violators and apprehended 107 wanted persons. Five fatalities were recorded in Iowa during the 2010 Fourth of July weekend.
By Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason City