If you're traveling in Southeast Iowa this weekend, take it slow and be sure to buckle up, because law enforcement throughout the area will be looking for dangerous drivers.
Several times a year, the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau provides funding for Operation Southern Exposure, which combines law enforcement agencies in our part of the state to target what statistics show leads to traffic fatalities -- impaired driving, high speeds and low seatbelt usage.
"Those statistics also show us that those three infractions typically occur more during low light or nighttime hours, so Southern Exposure gives us the opportunity - the Ottumwa Police Department, the Wapello County Sheriff's Department, Iowa State Patrol and Department of Transportation - it's a coalition of efforts to reduce those fatalities by attacking the nighttime hours when those three infractions are most prevalent," said Sergeant Chad Farrington of the Ottumwa Police Department.
Farrington said it won't just be traffic stops going on this weekend, but citations will be issued as well, as the tickets tend to remind drivers for a long time to come to keep it safe on the roads.
The Ottumwa Police Department has participated in programs like this one throughout the years and it has lead to a steady decline in traffic fatalities in Wapello County over the last decade.