The IOWA STATE PATROL Joins Forces with Metro Area Organizations to Take a Stand Against Speeding for Speeding Awareness Week
January 24, 2022
Council Bluffs, Iowa – The IOWA STATE PATROL is joining Omaha-Council Bluffs agencies and organizations to take a stand against speeding in the metro area. The Iowa and Nebraska departments of Transportation, the City of Omaha and more than 20 agencies and organizations are asking motorists to watch their speed by joining their voices together in a public education campaign to emphasize that following posted speed limits is critical to driver, passenger, pedestrian and cyclist safety. Beginning January 24, you’ll be seeing messages related to “Speeding Awareness Week” on social media, digital ads, and dynamic message signs around the metro and both states.
As traffic volumes have rebounded from an initial decline during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, speeding has remained a serious issue. These two factors, speeding and high volumes, have resulted in a staggering number of speeding tickets in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area. And while areas across the country are dealing with excessive speeding issues, Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area agencies are hoping to combat the problem via an educational campaign before traffic volumes increase even more during the spring and summer months.
“Metro area law enforcement agencies and first responders have noticed that speeding has increasingly become a factor in crashes, both in minor incidents and more serious crashes,” said Austin Yates, an engineer with the Iowa DOT. “This is an issue that can’t be ignored. Any speeding puts more lives at risk, which is why we partnered up to declare this week Speeding Awareness Week.”
Speed impacts those outside of vehicles, too. Changes in speed can have real-life consequences for pedestrians. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, if a person is hit by a vehicle going 20 miles per hour (mph), there is a 10 percent chance of fatality. The chance of fatality increases to 40 percent if a vehicle if going 30 mph and then increases to an 80 percent chance of fatality if the vehicle’s speed is at 40 mph.
“Speed limits are posted as they are for one very good reason – safety,” said Jeff Sobczyk, Vision Zero Coordinator with the City of Omaha. “The risk of fatalities even at relatively low speeds is too great to make any speeding worth it.”
Speeding, both “casual” and excessive, results in serious losses of time, money but – most importantly – human life. That’s why, as part of Speeding Awareness Week, every partner agency encourages drivers to slow down and follow the posted speed limit on roads.
Information about the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area’s Speeding Awareness Week can be found at: slowdownmetro.com.
ABOUT THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.