DES MOINES, Iowa -- The US Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, announced a nationwide push for safer roads this holiday season after reports came out that 800 people died in the US due to impaired driving last December alone.
The US Department of Transportation also stated that more than 10,000 people lost their lives to impaired drivers last year. Iowa’s DOT reports there’s been over 300 traffic fatalities and counting in 2019. So to combat this, Iowa State Patrol came up with an under 300 initiative called S.I.D.E With Us.
“So the acronym for S.I.D.E is, the S stands for seatbelts enforcement, the I stands for intoxicated or impaired drivers, and the D stands for distracted drivers and the E stands for excessive speed,” Sgt. Dinkla said. “And so each of those, we're trying to find ways that we can reduce that as being a cause of most crashes.”
Officers will be aggressively enforcing the law to make sure there’s no more fatal deaths this year. As far as 2020 goes, Sgt. Dinkla said the Governor’s Travel Safety Bureau and the Department of Transportation will be conducting speed enforcement projects in more targeted areas to see if that reduces fatal crashes for the future. The focus now however is making sure everyone makes it to the new year safely.
“Make sure to travel safe. Plan those travel plans ahead of time. So if there's any inclement weather, give yourself enough time to get to that destination. But take your time, get to that destination safely. Because we want everybody to be safe and enjoy this time of year,” Sgt. Dinkla said.