WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – West Des Moines Police are participating in a Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau program.
‘Special Traffic Enforcement Program’ is a statewide program for law enforcement in Iowa to have “high visibility” traffic enforcement around holidays.
According to West Des Moines Police's Sgt. Dan Wade, during May 20th through June 2nd last year there were 52 accidents in West Des Moines. One of those involved not wearing a seatbelt.
“I think one thing that people may not understand is that airbags are designed to work in concert with the seatbelt. They are not two separate mechanisms. Making sure that seatbelt is on really increases your chance of reducing your injury or eliminating a fatality if you are in a crash,” Wade said.
Wade said there will be increased police presence May 20th through June 2nd on the roads. Officers will be looking for any type of traffic violation like impaired driving, distracted driving, and seatbelt usage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017 there were 10,076 people killed in a vehicle crash across the country who were not wearing a seatbelt.
There is a nationwide effort called “Click It or Ticket” with law enforcement agencies on the roads making sure drivers and passengers are using a seatbelt.
Wade said in 2018 during the same time period there were eight OWI's given.
“Have a plan before you go. Your plan can include riding with friends or family members to the event so that you have a designated driver to bring you back home. There are ride share options that people can employ, and just have a plan before you get out there,” Wade said.
According to the Iowa State Patrol, there were 77 deaths last year in the state from people not wearing a seatbelt in a car accident.