DES MOINES — The Iowa State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be conducting a special enforcement initiative geared toward distracted driving, starting Saturday and ending Monday.

According to the past 10 years of crash data, this time of year has been one of the deadliest in the state.

Any activity that takes a driver's hands off the wheel, eyes off the road or mind off the task of driving can be dangerous.

According to the ISP, there have been 254 fatalities to date on Iowa's roadways; the goal for this year is for under 300, which would be the first time that's happened since 1925.

Also, drivers who use hand-held devices while driving are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to injure themselves. In the state, the number of crashes stemming from distracted driving has risen since 2018, and in a three-year survey average, only 30.2% of drivers stated they never use cell phones when driving..

The crackdown in the coming days is part of Traffic Fatality Reduction Task Force, which was created this year between the Governor's Office, the Iowa Department of Transportation and ISP to implement educational, enforcement and legislative initiatives to help Iowa achieve the target of less than 300 fatalities a year.

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