DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say they will continue to strive for fewer than 300 annual traffic deaths, but it won't happen in 2021.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that as of Friday, Iowa traffic death count stood at 312. Iowa Department of Transportation officials say that outpaces the death toll for the same date in the four previous years, but it was below the 350 count by the same time in 2016 — the last year that highway crashes claimed more than 400 lives.

Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau Chief Brett Tjepkes says a safety campaign will continue that urges drivers to slow down, buckle up, drive sober and remain distraction-free heading into the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

State officials cite speeding as a major problem, and the state patrol has been cracking down, issuing more than twice as many tickets in 2020 compared to 2019.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The Gazette.

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