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Iowa misses goal of fewer traffic fatalities in 2021

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:16 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Iowa safety officials will not meet their goal of keeping traffic deaths below 300 in the state this year. So far, the death toll for traffic incidents in Iowa is 318 according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Traffic fatalities are up nationwide, including in Iowa where deaths are on track to surpass pre-pandemic levels. Iowa State Patrol says many fatal accidents happen during the summer and the holidays.

“That’s pretty alarming to us and we need people to understand and take some personal responsibility themselves. We need people to understand that those people who are being killed on our roadways are somebody’s family, friends and loved ones and possibly even your family, friends and loved ones,” said Sgt. Alex Dinkla, Public Information Officer with Iowa State Patrol.

Iowa State Patrol says fewer people were on the roads because of COVID-19 in 2020, but the ones who were, were driving faster with more room on the road to speed. Now with more traveling, those same people have not slowed down causing more accidents.

“The volume of people who were driving over one hundred miles per hour, they are still doing that today even with the increased number in traffic,” said Dinkla.

With more people driving to see family and friends over the holidays, officials urge caution.

“I stopped one car yesterday, it was going well into the hundreds. In district twelve where I am out of we had three or four fatalities just the other week so people are starting to move for the holidays. Pay attention to the road, don’t drive intoxicated, slow down and get to where you’re going, your loved ones will thank you.” said Sgt. James Lancaster with Iowa State Patrol.

Iowa State Patrol says more enforcement officers will be out on the roads this holiday weekend making sure drivers are being safe and helping anyone in an accident. The American Automobile Association is predicting more than 48 million people will be on the road over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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