April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and many states are launching campaigns to step up enforcement in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities. While many states will be cracking down on distracted driving habits, the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has announced that law enforcement will be focusing their attention on reducing the number of fatalities on the state’s rural roads.
According to a press release from the Iowa Department of Transportation, in 2012, 72% of fatal crashes in Iowa occurred on rural roads, and approximately 79% of Iowa’s roadways are considered rural.
This month, law enforcement from five counties will begin a new initiative called “High Five Rural Traffic Safety Project.”
“After reviewing 10 years of crash data and looking at counties with low seat belt compliance rates, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau along with a multi-disciplinary team of traffic safety professionals selected five rural counties to participate in this project,” the press release states.
The following Iowa counties will participate in the project: Allamakee, Marion, Webster, Fremont and Palo Alto.
“The High Five project will involve a three-tier approach to include enforcement, engineering and education with the ultimate goal to build a safer community. Through enforcement, media, and community outreach, participating agencies will work to educate drivers on the benefits of complying with traffic laws with an emphasis on Iowa’s seat belt law. From an engineering aspect, the focus will be to identify low cost safety improvements throughout the county.” Iowa DOT said.
High Five began yesterday, April 1, 2014, and will end on September 30, 2015.