Davenport police and Iowa State Patrol targeting traffic violators
Thomas Geyer | Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2009 9:45 pm | Loading…
Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font size Davenport Police Officer Sam Miller issues a traffic citation Thursday night to a driver who has not registered the car he was driving. The driver was ticketed for operating an unregistered vehicle. He was pulled over for driving without license plates on the car.
Davenport police and Iowa State Patrol officers are taking part in Operation Midway that is going on now and will run until 3 a.m. Friday.
Officers are placing themselves at strategic points throughout the city in order to nab impaired drivers, speeders and anyone not using a seat belt.
Davenport police Lt. Mike Venema said Operation Midway is so named because the three middle tiers of counties across the state are running the operation tonight. The one-day saturation operation began at 7 p.m.
“Even though only 12 percent of the public is driving at night, most of the serious injury and fatality crashes are happening at night,” Venema said. “The major contributing factors in these crashes are speed, impaired driving and the lower seat belt usage rate at night.”
Venema said that during the day, seat belt usage runs about 96 percent in Iowa. “Nighttime use is much lower.
“In our last meeting with the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, one of their pushes is nighttime seat belt use, as well as getting impaired drivers off the road,” he said.
Two teams had set up in Davenport, one on the east side and one on the west side.
On the west side, seven cars stationed themselves in an out of the way place while Davenport police Cpl. Brian Stevens, dressed in civilian clothes, was the spotter at 3rd Street and Waverly Road.
Within minutes, all seven cars were dispatched for violations that ranged from no seat belt to expired license plates to illegal tinted windows to a loud muffler.
As one site becomes well known to drivers, the officers will move to another location.
Iowa recorded 412 fatalities on the state’s roadways in 2008. This fatality rate is lower than the previous year, but still far too high, Venema said. Law enforcement is hopeful the concentrated, statewide enforcement project will help to lower that number once again.
Day or night, Venema said, drivers need to buckle-up and find a designated driver.
“We plan on doing special enforcements throughout the summer, when more people are out and active,” he said. While officers will be out in the evening hours, enforcement events also will be held during the day.
The program is being funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.