The goal is to eliminate all traffic fatalities across the entire 2,900 mile stretch of Interstate 80, from July 24-31, 2013.
IACP Division of State and Provincial (S&P) member agencies from the 11 states that patrol Interstate 80 kicked off the “I-80 Challenge” today, a collaborative effort to reduce and eliminate traffic fatalities nationwide on Interstate 80. Patrick Hoye, the Chief of Iowa Governors Traffic Safety Bureau, says the idea stemmed from his work studying crash data on Interstate 80 in his state. Iowa is also the host state of this year’s event. Analyzing 10 years of Interstate 80 crash data across Iowa reveals more than 17,274 crashes or an average of 4.73 crashes each day! Statistically, a serious injury or fatal crash occurs every four days on Interstate 80 in Iowa. 49% of all crashes were speed related, with 67% of drivers traveling above the posted speed limit of 70 mph and 5% of motorists exceeding 80 mph.
When Chief Hoye looked to other state police and highway patrol agencies that patrolled Interstate 80 he found that many echoed the same findings; that I-80 was a hot bed for crashes and fatalities.
The I-80 challenge is believed to be one of the largest multi-state law enforcement collaborative efforts on record. The goal of this effort is to leverage the statistics and as Colonel Michael D. Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police and the current General Chair of State and Provincial (S&P) Police of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) said, “This initiative, while ultimately about saving lives, is also designed to focus attention on the hazards of Interstate highway driving. Speeding motorists will be a primary concern for participating agencies, but they will additionally be targeting a variety of driving behaviors that cause crashes that result in injuries and deaths.” S&P agencies are also looking to replicate this effort along other interstate highways.
The IACP and the Iowa Governors Traffic Safety Bureau have been working closely to bring members from each state to kick of the event in Des Moines, Iowa today. “When law enforcement agencies collaborate and cooperate in pursuit of a common goal their collective energies can accomplish more than the individual efforts. We will continue to embrace partnerships in making our highways and communities safer.” – Colonel Michael D. Edmonson, Louisiana State Police, General Chair of S&P Police of the IACP.