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‘Slow down, put the phone down and buckle up’: Law enforcement ask Iowans to do more to save lives on the road

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s top traffic safety officials are holding a press conference Tuesday to address the recent spike in fatal car crashes.

The Iowa Traffic Fatality Reduction Task Force is hoping to reverse what it says is an alarming trend of dangerous driving and extreme speeding seen during the pandemic.

As of Tuesday morning, there had been 119 traffic fatalities in 2021. In May there were 41 traffic deaths, which is a monthly high total for the year so far.

These are the numbers for the last five years in the state, from the Iowa DOT:

Year Number of Deaths
2020 337
2019 336
2018 319
2017 331
2016 402

Officials have a goal of keeping the number of traffic fatalities under 300 for the first time since 1925.

At Tuesday’s news conference experts from the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa State Patrol will release more information about their agencies’ efforts to reduce fatalities on Iowa’s roads.

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