June 09, 2023

Lack of seat belt use, deadly on Iowa roads

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is urging Iowans to buckle up during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, is May 22-June 4.

In 2022, 55 percent of traffic fatalities in Iowa were unbelted or unknown. So far, in 2023 that number is about 60 percent. It is perceived everyone wears a seat belt, yet over half of our fatalities are unrestrained. This translates to hundreds of lives lost over the last few years.

“No matter the type of vehicle you’re traveling in, where you’re seated, or what type of road you’re driving on, the best way to protect yourself in a crash is to buckle up,” Brett Tjepkes, Iowa GTSB Bureau Chief, said. “Unfortunately, many families are suffering because their loved ones do not follow this simple step. If this enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider the mission a success”.

If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up, please talk to them about changing their habits. Help GTSB and our law enforcement partners spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to buckle up.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau works with city, county, state, and local organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce deaths and injuries on Iowa’s roadways using federally funded grants.