Iowa — There were 51 people killed in crashes on Iowa roads in the month of August, tied for the highest single-month total in the last decade.
So far this year there have been 228 traffic fatalities in the state of Iowa. That is slightly behind one year ago at this time. However earlier this year the state was well behind average as the pandemic shutdown also cut down on traffic. But fatalities surged again in July and August. The 51 fatalities last month is equal to the 51 killed on Iowa roads in August 2015. The last time the state saw a higher single month death toll was in August of 2010 when 56 people were killed.
The Iowa State Patrol says it is still seeing an increase in the number of speeding tickets issued to drivers going more than 100 miles per hour. Troopers say the spike in those tickets started during the pandemic shutdown. Troopers say drivers thought less traffic would mean less of a chance of being caught. Since traffic levels have returned to normal, though, troopers say the number of extreme speeders hasn’t slowed down. One driver was recently clocked at 148 mph, more than double the highest posted speed limit in the state.
Troopers say speed limits aren’t enforced to drive up fees. They are there because they save lives.
“We live in Iowa. We live in a rural environment and there’s all types of animals and different critters that are going to pop out of those ditches,” says Sergeant Alex Dinkla with the Iowa State Patrol, “and you’re not you’re not going to have the proper stopping distance to be able to stop in time.”