Message Monday

Pay attention in work zones. It’s free.

Free – who doesn’t like free? Paying attention doesn’t take money or even much skill. All you need is the desire to put aside distractions and focus on being safe behind the wheel.

Not only is paying attention free, it could SAVE you money. Did you know fines double if you’re charged with a moving violation, which includes texting, in a work zone? If you can avoid paying a fee, why wouldn’t you?

We’re all busy and there always seems to be more to do than time to get it done. But multitasking behind the wheel isn’t worth the potential cost. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each highway fatality has a lifetime economic cost to society of $1.4 million. With 179 Iowa fatalities in 2017, that’s $250.6 million so far this year.

From Jan. 1 to today, 10 people have died in Iowa work zone crashes. That may not seem like a high number, but at 5.59 percent of the total lives lost, that number represents the highest percentage of work zone fatalities since the Iowa Department of Transportation began tracking this statistic.

Save yourself the grief and financial burden. You have the ability to focus and sort through the noise and focus on the task at hand.

The fatality count of 179 is an increase of nine since last Monday. In all of 2016, 405 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at


August 7, 2017