Bonafide Proof That Iowa’s Need For Speed Has Gotten Out of Control
Fellow Iowans, what's the rush? Things have reached the point of ridiculous on Iowa interstates.
I get that being in an SUV, truck, or car is near the bottom of the list of places any of us like to be. We all understand it's necessary when getting from Point A to Point B. However, it appears more and more drivers are throwing caution to the wind when it comes to Iowa speed limits. That should concern all of us.
On Sunday, March 5, an Iowa State Trooper was patrolling I-29 in extreme southwest Iowa. Between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. that afternoon and early evening, the trooper executed six different traffic stops on drivers who were traveling at least 93 miles per hour. Another driver was stopped after being clocked at 89 mph. Here's a list of the seven top speeds of drivers that the trooper stopped. Again, this is over a three-hour period:
- 89 mph
- 93 mph
- 95 mph
- 95 mph (yes, there were two)
- 96 mph
- 101 mph
- 110 mph
So how much does a speeding ticket cost when you're traveling that fast?
Assistant Linn County Attorney Shayl Wilson tells me that if you're traveling 86 to 90 in a 70 mph zone, the ticket is $120. If you're going more than 20 miles per hour above the posted limit, the fine jumps. It leaps to $135, plus an additional $5 for every mile-per-hour over 20. That means the driver going 93 miles per hour would get a $150 ticket. The total fine, including court costs & surcharge, would be more than $227.
Wilson also shared that if you're traveling 25 miles per hour above the speed limit (for instance 95 in a 70), your license is suspended for 60 days. The suspension is extended another 5 days for each mile per hour above 25. The driver going 110 in a 70 mph zone would have their license suspended for 190 days. That driver would also face a fine of $235. Once the surcharge and court costs are added, it is more than $325.
In January, 25 people died on Iowa roadways. That was the most January traffic fatalities in the state in five years. As of this morning, there have been nine more fatalities on Iowa roads this year than on this date in 2022. Iowa's 47 traffic deaths through March 6 is the highest in five years. The Iowa Department of Transportation says at least 23 of the 47 people killed weren't wearing a seat belt.
The Iowa State Patrol says "Speeds on the rise... fatalities on the rise... Know better, do better, and drive responsibly before you (or someone else you know) end up being a statistic."
In the last five years, two months, and six days, 1,740 people have been killed in traffic accidents in Iowa. Please buckle up and slow down. Speed kills. Unfortunately, we just don't seem to be getting the message.