Survey Shows Iowa Drivers Receive Most Tickets

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A recent survey shows Iowa drivers speed more than anyone else in the country.

According to a survey done by Insurify, 23.2 percent of drivers in Iowa have reported getting a ticket for going over the speed limit.

We localized the poll to Dubuque County, speaking with the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office and the Dubuque Police Department, to discover what trends they have seen, how many tickets are issued, and whether or not it was surprising or expected to see Iowa on the top of the list.

We looked at the most recent totals from the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

We learned of the 4,543 traffic stops made, 2,545 related to speed. This was a decline from the previous yearly total, where 5,083 traffic stops occurred and 3,219 were related to speeding.

When we told Dubuque County Sheriff Joe Kennedy about the survey, he said based off what he has seen over the years, he was not surprised.

"I think when it really comes down to it, we have a lot of people that have lived here a long time, they're comfortable with the roads, and they're not afraid to be out there and traveling a little bit in excess of the speed limit," Sheriff Kennedy said.

Here in Dubuque County, about half (1,184) of the drivers pulled over by the Sheriff's Office for speeding were let off with a warning between July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. 1,361 tickets were issued in the same span.

To centralize on a city level, we looked at data from the Dubuque Police Department showing how many speeding tickets were issued from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017: 1,862 were issued.

We learned 1,270 of those drivers were cited going anywhere from six miles to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Lt. Joe Messerich said those numbers can be misleading, as officers will often knock a speeding ticket down to a lower level.

Lt. Messerich said he does not believe Dubuque would stand out as an outlier compared to other Iowa cities.

"I think speed is probably the most common ticket issued in just about any city or county across the state," Lt. Messerich said. "It's just a common violation that people do; some people don't see the dangers in it, don't know the stats associated with it, how many it causes a year, so some people just don't take speed limits seriously."

Lt. Messerich said more times than not an officer will know if a driver will get a ticket before even getting out of their vehicle, based on a variety of factors. But he said their main goal as local law enforcement is to make the roadways safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates about 10,000 speeding-related fatalities occur each year. Lt. Messerich said from the perspective of law enforcement, the goal of the police department is to reduce that number, rather than build a stack of tickets.

To review the survey done by Insurify, click here.

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