Iowa State Patrol uses Clay County Fair to stress the importance of safe driving

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 9:05 PM CDT
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SPENCER, IA (KTIV) - The Clay County Fair is underway in Spencer, IA and it has something for everyone. Even something that could save your life.

The Iowa State Patrol is using the event to raise awareness of safe driving and seatbelt use.

Last summer, a Camaro driving in Dubuque, IA was involved in an accident going 150 miles per hour. Tragically, the accident claimed the lives of three teens.

That car was on display to represent the dangers of driving recklessly.

“We really want to emphasize the importance of driving safely and driving the speed limit. Our traffic deaths are considerably higher this year and a lot of those are related to speed and obviously people who are not wearing their seatbelts,” said Paul Gardner, a Public Resource Officer for the Iowa State Patrol.

The Iowa State Patrol also had a “Seat Belt Convincer” at the fair. It lets the public experience the importance of seat belts.

“A lot of people are surprised of how much of a jolt you get even at a low speed, that is a 10 to 15 mile per hour crash. People don’t realize how fast they are actually going and what could happen even in a low speed, like I said a parking lot speed, of the damage that can be down when they’re not wearing their seatbelts,” said Gardner.

“I’m ready! Oh, that didn’t feel too good,” said KTIV’s Ervin Dohmen as he went down the “Seat Belt Convincer.”

“You can tell that even at a low speed like that what would have happened if you didn’t have your seatbelt on. You would have been face first right into the shield or into the dash of a car,” said Gardner.

The Iowa State Patrol hopes exhibits like these have opened fairgoers eyes. The Iowa State Patrol is also looking to expand their presence at the fair.

They say engagement at events like the fair is a great way to get their message to the community.