Des Moines, Iowa – RadioIowa – Iowa roadways have been a dangerous place this year. Patrick Hoye, chief of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says traffic fatality numbers in Iowa had been declining, year-over-year, earlier this decade. Last year, 320 people were killed in traffic crashes in the state.
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest times of the year on Iowa’s roadways. A campaign is underway and runs through Sunday involving an increased law enforcement presence on Iowa’s highways and interstates.
Officials have been studying why there’s been such a sharp increase in traffic fatalities this year. Hoye notes roughly half of the traffic deaths in Iowa involved people who weren’t wearing a seatbelt and 30-percent of the fatal crashes were alcohol-related. Another reason for the spike in fatal crashes could involve the low gas prices we’ve had this year.
Over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, five people were killed on Iowa roads.