Hawkeye State in the Red…for Traffic Safety Laws

A national highway safety organization lists Iowa among the “worst states” for traffic safety measures.


The group Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety evaluated the 50 states based on 15 “optimal laws.” Cathy Chase, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Advocates, says Iowa has adopted only 5 of the 15 laws her group endorses.

Iowa is one of 11 states to receive a “red” rating — meaning the states are “dangerously behind” in the adoption of Advocates’ optimal laws. One of the strikes against Iowa, according to the report, is the lack of an all-rider motorcycle helmet law. Jacqueline Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said in 11 states last year lawmakers considered, but ultimately rejected repealing mandatory helmet laws.

There were 318 people killed in traffic crashes in Iowa last year — the lowest annual total since 1944.