DES MOINES -- The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau reports that eleven people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents on Iowa roads over the 2009 Memorial Day Weekend. That’s the highest number since 1989 when 12 people died. 1978 saw the highest number of fatalities recorded with 13 deaths. The last year that numbers were higher than average was 2007, when eight traffic related fatalities were reported.
Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Eugene T. Meyer said the numbers are very concerning, adding, “Iowans of all ages need to think before climbing behind the wheel that this could be their last trip if they’re involved in a motor vehicle accident.”
The Click It or Ticket program is currently underway as part of a national campaign to get people to buckle up. Through May 31st Iowa law enforcement will target drunk drivers, seat belt violators and speeders. In 2008, 170 Iowans died in unbelted crashes. Iowans have a 93% seatbelt usage rate, however, the 7% who do not buckle up represent 150,000 drivers and 50,000 front seat passengers not buckling up everyday on Iowa road ways.