It’s the day for the wearin’ of the green, but some Iowans will be seeing red and blue if they don’t make smart choices.
Iowa State Trooper Paul Gardner, who’s based in Fort Dodge, says law officers across Iowa will be focused on Highway 20 today as part of a special traffic enforcement program.
“What that’s going to include is troopers working Highway 20, looking for excessive speeders, people not wearing their seat belts, people who are distracted and driving,” Gardner says. “And of course, with St. Patrick’s Day, we tend to see alcohol consumption go up so we will also be watching for people who are under the influence as well.”
Trooper Gardner explains why this year’s focus will be on that particular east-west corridor from Dubuque to Sioux City. “When we look at the numbers, the stats for traffic crashes along Highway 20 in the last five years, we’ve had 33 fatalities and 13 of those were alcohol-related, so close to 40% were attributed to OWI,” Gardner says. “We want to make sure we’re bringing that number down to avoid crashes and avoid casualties.”
If you’ve had a little too much green beverage, he reminds drivers not to get behind the wheel but to first designate a driver or call a cab or a ride.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)