Iowa law enforcement will be out in full force this Thanksgiving Holiday. The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) has announced that extra city, county, and state officers will be out to ensure that drivers and passengers buckle up, slow down, and drive responsibility in order to save lives and reduce crashes. This increased law enforcement presence will begin on Monday, Nov. 25, and last through Sunday, Dec. 1. "The number one priority of this Special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP) is to save lives," said Randy Hunefeld, sTEP Coordinator with the GTSB. "According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, nine traffic fatalities occurred during the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday, which is just not acceptable." Six of those nine deaths were motorists not using seatbelts. As of November 8, 2013, 263 drivers and occupants of motor vehicles lost their lives in traffic accidents in Iowa. That number is 40 less than a year ago at this time. Thirty-nine percent of these fatalities were reported as not wearing a seatbelt while 26 percent were listed as unknown or unable to be determined. More than 50 percent of all traffic fatalities, excluding those involving motorcycles and pedestrians, are the result of not wearing a seatbelt. Iowa Law Enforcement wishes everyone a safe Thanksgiving Holiday and requests that everyone buckle up. Any questions can be directed to Randy Hunefeld at 515-725-6124 or hunefeld@dps.state.ia.us.