Independence weekend STEP


June 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

As travelers hit the road en-masse for the Independence Day holiday weekend, law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force as well, watching for alcohol or drug-impaired drivers, and other traffic violations. Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety say a Special Traffic Enforcement Project, or “STEP,” will take place July 1st thru the 4th, with a special emphasis on taking impaired drivers off the road, and making sure motorists are buckled up.

Last year, Iowa recorded five traffic-related fatalities over the July 4th weekend. That was two more than in 2009. Fortunately, none of the deaths over the past four-years were alcohol-related.

During a similar STEP effort in 2010, 214 law enforcement agencies, local and across the state, had contact with a total of 353 alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers. There were also slightly more than 1,000 citations or warnings issued for seatbelt violations, and nearly 5,000 tickets issued for speeding. In all, over 11,228 violations were recorded in 2010.

Officers also assisted 965 motorists, investigated 366 crashes, and apprehended 107 persons wanted on warrants.