Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Iowa’s Safety Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) is a program where all law enforcement in Iowa cooperate in “high visibility” traffic enforcement effort coordinated around a holiday. These events call for heightened traffic enforcement for all traffic violations, and to raise awareness in safety belt use.
During the Dec. 17, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022 time frame, there were 473 contacts made between the Mt. Pleasant Police Department and the public within city limits.
“We have guys that are proactive at traffic stops, and the numbers are pretty indicative of the time of year,” said Lyle Murray, Mt. Pleasant Police Chief.
The contacts resulted in three operating while intoxicated (OWI) tickets, which are drinking and driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
There were 18 citations and 80 warnings that were issued for speeding, running stop lights, or traffic incidents and equipment violations such as lights not working.
There were also two felony arrests that occurred during the program.
“These were existing felony arrest warrants that the persons were arrested on,” stated Murray.
“There were 13 motorist assists that were basically unlocking vehicles,” said Murray, “We are one of the last places to provide this service.”
“Basically, with the program, we are trying to reduce fatal car accidents, stop impaired drivers, and get people to buckle up more,” said Murray. “We are trying to get people to slow down, wear a seat belt and avoid distracted driving.”
“This program is a grant that we get every year, and the grant provides money toward increased police coverage during specific times of the year,” said Murray. “It is basically a heightened enforcement program.”