SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- Beginning next week, the Iowa State Patrol will be asking area drivers to be on their side when it comes to safe driving.
On Aug. 16, a Traffic Enforcement Project centered in Woodbury County will be launched called "S.I.D.E. with the State Patrol."
The acronym S.I.D.E. stands for Seat Belts, Impaired Driving, Distracted Driving and Excessive Speed.
Trooper John Farley with the Iowa State Patrol said these projects, along with authorities out in force on highways and interstates, help reinforce the dangers that can come from behind the wheel.
"We want to make sure people do realize that speed is the number one cause of collisions across the state, distractions, wearing your seat belts, making sure you are not impaired, all of these core issues are just reinforcing this good driving behavior," said Farley.
Farley said the project is coming during a deadly time on Iowa roads.
Troopers say last month, 44 fatality accidents were recorded in the state. That's the single highest month on record since September 2017.
In spite of the data, Farley said so far, the state is 20% below the average number of fatalities.
"One of the key things that our Iowa State Patrol is trying to do this year as was in previous years is to be below the 300 mark. It's been a long time that we have in the state of Iowa since we have been under 300 fatalities. And we are at a good pace for that," said Farley.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, as of Aug. 14, there have been 175 fatalities on Iowa roads, 17 coming this month.