Heightened traffic enforcement planned

DES MOINES ? Heightened traffic enforcement though out the state is planned now through Sunday, but the Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor?s Traffic Safety Bureau reminds that wearing a seat belt is not just for Thanksgiving ? it?s a must every day of the year.

?Seat belts are the most basic vehicle technology that has, without a doubt, saved the most lives,? said Pat Hoye, bureau chief, Iowa Governor?s Traffic Safety Bureau.

Nationwide in 2015 ? the last year in which data is available ? the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 301 passenger vehicle occupants as killed in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving weekend and only 50 percent of those killed were buckled. In Iowa, there were five fatalities during that time in both 2015 and 2016.

If you are ejected from a vehicle in a crash, the odds are high that you will not survive. According to the NHTSA, in 2015, 80 percent of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Only 1 percent of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected compared to 30 percent of those who were unbuckled.