Most of us rush off each day, focused on the busy day ahead. None of us thinks that one day our life will be changed forever by an unexpected accident.
Last weekend local law enforcement completed a traffic safety project called Operation Midway, working primarily along Highway 30.
Concentrating on speeders, seat belt use and drunk and impaired drivers the results weren't surprising.
However, we'd be remiss to say they weren't alarming.
Of particular concern were those travelers not using a seat beat - six were issued citations for not wearing a seat belt. Another two were cited for violating child restraint laws.
As journalists we've seen time and time again the difference seatbelt use makes. Often it's life and death. Even six people operating a motor vehicle without a seatbelt is a number we aren't comfortable with. That two children were traveling down Highway 30 in a car without proper child safety precautions is also disturbing. To us, these represent eight lives that could have easily been lost in our community.
Meanwhile, 56 drivers were cited for speeding. While we're all guilty of speeding at times, we know that this also increases the risk of serious injury or death.
At least 62 people were killed in Iowa in 2009 in speeding-related accidents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is a statistic that shouldn't be taken lightly.
Officers with the Marshalltown Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff's Office and the State Center Police Department worked together on this project in an effort to change driver behavior and keep our roads safe.
Here's a breakdown of the violations last weekend:
Seat Belt - 5
Child Restraint - 2
Speed - 56
Stop Sign/Light - 2
Driving Under Suspension - 4
No Registration - 2
Open Container - 3
.02 violation - 1
Dark Windows - 3
Move Over Violation - 1
Equipment - 5
Other Traffic Violation - 5
Night Time Seat Belt - 1
The idea behind Operation Midway is for law enforcement agencies to educate drivers about common problems on the roadways. We thank them for the recent reminder and also ask that we each take a moment to remember that driving is a privilege and great responsibility.