With the July 4th holiday falling at mid-week, the Emmetsburg Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol will be joining with other law enforcement agencies nationwide for a special traffic enforcement project during this week of July 1-7.
The enforcement effort, or STEP program will be a "High Visibility" enforcement that will crack down on traffic violators, specifically those motorists and occupants not buckled up. Since its inception in 1986, Iowa's seat belt law has been a primary law, allowing officers to pull over violators solely for not being buckled up. A seat belt violation citation will cost you $127.50.
"If the fine isn't enough to entice you to buckle up, how about increasing your chances of surviving a crash by 50 percent?" asked Officer Ryan Veldboom, of the Emmetsburg Police Department. "Banking on not being involved in a crash is simply not good math."
As of June 12, 2013, the Iowa Department of Transportation says Iowa has experienced 117 traffic fatalities since Jan. 1, 2013. While this is a reduction of 38 fewer fatalities than at the same time last year, every death is one too many. According to the same data, 37 of those fatalities involved individuals who were not using their seat belts. Help yourself and your family and friends by buckling up for every trip, regardless of the distance.
The Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, along with the Iowa State Patrol and the Emmetsburg Police Department wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July.
"Please remember if you invest three seconds to buckle up each time you start your vehicle, you can make the difference in surviving a serious crash," Officer Veldboom noted.
In the July 2012 STEP Enforcement effort, nearly 16,000 total traffic violations, including 1,223 seat belt and 4,753 speeding violations were reported by 1,444 law enforcement officers and 226 lIowa aw enforcement agencies.