CHICAGO, Ill.– The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show the number of fatalities on Iowa’s roadways declined 11 percent, including a 28 percent reduction in pedestrian fatalities, from 2006 to 2010. Iowa roads are getting safer with increased seat belt usage, improved air bag technology, safer driving habits and local police departments taking advantage of new technology to hold lawbreakers accountable through the use of live-saving enforcement tools such as red light cameras.
According to NHTSA data, there were 390 fatalities on Iowa roads in 2010, down from 439 in 2006. Pedestrian fatalities were also reduced from 25 in 2006 to 18 in 2010.
One contributing factor to this reduction has been the increased use of traffic safety cameras. Data across the country shows cameras change driver behavior, deter drivers from breaking the law, reduce crashes and save lives. This has been the case in communities across Iowa:
Council Bluffs– Red light running crashes were reduced in Council Bluffs by 90 percent at intersections with safety cameras (Iowa Department of Transportation).
Cedar Rapids– Red light running was reduced by 49 percent after the installation of traffic safety cameras at Cedar Rapids intersections (Iowa State University Institute for Transportation).
Davenport– Red light running crashes were reduced by 40 percent in Davenport where traffic safety cameras were present (Iowa Department of Transportation). In February, the Iowa senate voted unanimously to pass Kadyn’s Law, legislation to increase penalties for drivers who ignore stop signs extended from school buses. The legislation further required a study on the effects of using traffic safety cameras on school bus stop arms to catch and hold accountable drivers who ignore school bus safety laws.