Special traffic enforcement Nov. 22-29

Click It or TicketAll travelers are reminded to buckle up

The Jefferson police department and the Greene County sheriff’s office will conduct a special Traffic Enforcement Project (sTEP) Nov. 22 through Nov. 29.

The Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday from 6 pm through the following Monday at 6 am, is the busiest travel time of the year for American motorists. Unfortunately, more motorists on the roads increase the likelihood of traffic crashes. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to prevent injury or death in a crash. The risk of a fatal injury goes down by 45 percent when seat-belted in a passenger car and 60 percent when in a light truck.

During the 2013 (the last year in which information is available) Thanksgiving weekend, 301 people nationwide lost their lives on roadways (two in Iowa). A staggering 58 percent were not wearing seat belts.

Preliminary numbers indicate that there were three fatalities in Iowa during the same period in 2014. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 12,584 lives were saved by seat belts in 2013 and an additional 2,800 more could have been saved if everyone had worn seat belts.

Iowa has one of the highest seat belt compliance rates in the nation at 92.96 percent, but the unbuckled 7.04 percent represent 46 percent of the fatalities. The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) chief Patrick Hoye said, “This is really troubling. Almost half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts; we see way too many preventable fatalities in crashes.”

The Jefferson police department and Greene County sheriff’s office remind travelers that whether you are traveling near or far, take a moment to buckle your seat belt.

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