Highway safety expert discusses “horrific year” on Iowa roads

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Des Moines, Iowa – RadioIowa – The head of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau says efforts to reduce fatal crashes in Iowa this year will range for a boost in public awareness campaigns to possible legislation. G-T-S-B chief Patrick Hoye says he was surprised by the 402 traffic deaths recorded in the state in 2016.

Two years ago, in 2015, traffic crashes claimed 316 lives, the lowest in 70 years. Hoye says bad weather wasn’t much of a factor in 2016, but the warmer-than-normal year may’ve had an impact.

But, Hoye says the primary factors for the spike in traffic fatalities last year include alcohol, speeding, and drivers paying more attention to their cell phone than the road.

According to Hoye, over 40-percent of the people killed in Iowa traffic crashes last year were NOT wearing seat belts. The last time Iowa’s yearly highway traffic fatalities surpassed 400 was in 2008 (412 deaths).

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