Area police departments including the Forest City Police Department are participating in the Special Traffic Enforcement Program or STEP. This is an initiative by the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau which focuses on ticketing those who are driving drunk, speeding, or not buckling up.
According to officials, 77% of those who are ejected from a vehicle during a crash are killed. Iowa had 401 traffic fatalities last year with more than 43% or 173 of them not restrained by a seat belt.
Forest City Police Chief Doug Jensen says that his officers aren’t just looking for seat belts during the Memorial Day weekend.
There will be an increase in patrols in the area, not just with Forest City, but also with other area departments. In Forest City, each patrol officer will get additional hours, by choice.
Officials are trying to bring down the number of fatalities in the state through stronger enforcement especially during high traffic times such as the holidays when people are rushed to get to their destination.