SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - On Thursday, authorities from five states joined together to help residents stay safe and slow down when they are on the roads.
The state patrols from Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas are collaborating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a speed enforcement initiative.
Iowa State Patrol data from this year shows a 113% increase in citations issued for speeds equal to or greater than 100 miles per hour compared to the four-year average.
And Iowa's data shows a 70% increase in citations issued for speeds 25 mph or greater than the posted speed limit.
"This data is alarming and unprecedented. And shows why we need motorists to understand that this driving behavior is not the new normal," said Col. Nathan Fulk of the Iowa State Patrol.
Officials believe the increased speeds are linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa State Patrol Trooper John Farley said he believes the reduced number of vehicles on roads causes people to think they can break the speed limit.
But he wants people to know how dangerous speeding can be.
"The number one factor that is involved in all traffic collisions, and that's speed. And we really want to make sure that people are aware of it," said Trooper Farley. "We've had such an influx in the number of citations issued this year, and we really want to get a handle on it."
According to Iowa State Patrol, July is historically a month known for large traffic volumes, fast speeds and high fatality counts.