(Radio Iowa) Iowa and ten other Midwestern states are conducting a speed awareness campaign today (Wednesday). The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau chief, Brett Tjepkes says Iowa has seen a 25 percent increase in speeding-related deaths on the roadways.
” In 2021, speeding-related crashes killed 84 people in Iowa. So we’re joining these ten other states in the Midwest to have more law enforcement out there just to increase awareness that driving over the posted speed limit is dangerous,” he says. There’s some speculation the lack of traffic and open roads during the pandemic led to increased highway speeds, and it has continued with traffic volume back up.
” The egregious speeds — you know, those speeds that are over 100 miles per hour — we’re seeing more and more on Iowa’s roadways,” Tjepkes says. “I don’t know, the real reason, but we have seen it since the COVID-19 pandemic.” Tjepkes says drivers may also think new technology in cars makes them safer when they push the limits.
“It really doesn’t matter how new and smooth and the technology in a vehicle, it really depends on the driver that’s behind there,” he says. “It’s harder to react and to be aware of things when you’re going that fast. That’s what the speed limits are for.” The Iowa State Patrol, many sheriff’s departments and police departments are taking part in the speed awareness day.
“We’re just asking drivers to please slow down. You know our goal is to save lives. And so we really want drivers to be aware that the posted speed limit is the law and there’s no excuses,” he says. “We’ve seen this dramatic increase in speeding related fatalities and we’re trying to drive that down and to save lives. So if you’re speeding you can expect a citation.” Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas are also focusing on speed today (Wednesday).