The Council Bluffs Police Department (CBPD), the Iowa DOT, Nebraska DOT, and more than 20 local agencies and organizations have partnered for Speeding Awareness Week. The agencies are working together to emphasize the importance of following posted speed limits for driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety. Beginning January 24, these agencies will be talking about Speeding Awareness Week on social media, digital ads, and via dynamic message signs around the metro and throughout both states.
As traffic volumes have rebounded from an initial decline during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, speeding remains a serious issue. Speeding and high traffic volumes have resulted in a staggering number of speeding tickets in the Council Bluffs/ Omaha metro area. In 2021, CBPD issued 1,491 speeding citations and responded to 2,157 collisions. While areas across the country are dealing with excessive speeding issues, CBPD hopes to educate residents with this campaign.
"Metro area law enforcement agencies and first responders have noticed that speeding has increasingly become a factor in crashes, both in minor incidents and more serious crashes," said Austin Yates, an engineer with the Iowa DOT. "This is an issue that can't be ignored. Any speeding puts more lives at risk, which is why we partnered up to declare this week Speeding Awareness Week."
Speeding has real-life consequences for pedestrians, too. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, if a vehicle traveling 20 miles per hour (mph) strikes a person, there is a 10 percent chance of fatality. The chance of fatality increases to 40 percent if a vehicle is traveling at 30 mph and 80 percent if the vehicle's speed is at 40 mph.
"Speed limits are posted for one very good reason – safety," said Jeff Sobczyk, Vision Zero Coordinator with the City of Omaha. "The risk of fatalities even at relatively low speeds is too great to make any speeding worth it."
Speeding results in a serious loss of time, money, and - most importantly - human life. As part of Speeding Awareness Week, the Council Bluffs Police Department and the partnering agencies encourage drivers to slow down and follow the posted speed limit on roads.
Information about the Council Bluffs/ Omaha metro area's Speeding Awareness Week is available at slowdownmetro.com.