Police Department Urges Drivers to Slow Down


Ottumwa, Iowa— This summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with the Ottumwa Police Department to keep drivers and passengers safe by raising awareness about the dangers of speeding and urging drivers to obey speed limits. Ottumwa Police Officers are always on alert for speeding vehicles. If you’re pulled over for speeding, you may be issued a ticket for breaking this law.

Not only is speeding illegal, it’s deadly. In 2020, speeding killed 11,258 people, accounting for more than one-quarter of all crash fatalities. Tragically, there was a dramatic increase (17%) in speeding-related crash fatalities from 2019-2020, with a projected 5% increase from 2020-2021. NHTSA and the Ottumwa Police Department want to remind drivers that, no matter how seasoned you are as a driver, ultimately, Speeding Slows You Down.

Much like impaired driving, speeding is a selfish choice that can have deadly consequences for the driver, vehicle passenger, and pedestrians. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve. Even the safest cars with the newest technologies are limited in how much they can help reduce the odds of a crash. 

Speed limit signs are not suggestions, they are the law.They are posted for the safety of the driver and others in that particular area. Unfortunately people speed every day, especially young men. If you’re killed in a crash, or if you kill someone else, that’s it – there’s no second chance. Speeding isn’t worth the risk.

According to NHTSA, local roads are more dangerous than highways for speeders: In 2020, 87% of all speeding-related traffic fatalities on American roads occurred on non-interstate roadways. Drivers should be especially aware of this campaign and their speed. Local roads are where most speeding-related crashes occur.

Young people and motorcyclists are especially susceptible to high speeds, and they represent the largest demographic involved in speeding-related vehicle crashes. In 2020, 27% of males ages 18-44 and 17% of female drivers ages 18-34 involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding.

Alcohol and weather also increase the likelihood of a crash while speeding. In 2020, 37% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, compared to 17% of non-speeding drivers. And the chances of a vehicle crash on wet roads increases drastically when a vehicle is speeding.

We are asking the citizens of Ottumwa and those visiting to please slow down and pay attention to the posted speed limits.  The goal of enforcing the speed limit is to save lives, and we’re putting all drivers on alert — the posted speed limit is the law. No excuses.

For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding.

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