DES MOINES, Iowa: In a bid to reduce the state’s increasing number of traffic fatalities, Iowa officials said this week that they will crack down on speeding motorists, driving while drunk and drivers using cell phones.

Iowa State Patrol officials said they have been confronted by increasingly dangerous behaviors on the road. They note that 1,500 citations were issued last year for drivers exceeding 100 miles per hour.

Officials also said that arrests for excessive speed and impaired driving jumped in 2020. Also, traffic deaths were higher than in past years, even as the volume of driving fell 12 percent during the pandemic lockdown.

In 2021 there have been 119 traffic fatalities in Iowa, and officials are increasingly concerned since traffic deaths often rise in the summer.

To reduce traffic violations, Iowa law enforcement will increase the number of officers patrolling Iowa roads from June 9-12, looking for seatbelt violations, impaired driving, excessive speed and distracted driving.

Iowa has also set a goal of reducing traffic fatalities to below 300 for 2021, which has not occurred since before 1925.