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No fatalities reported during CHP challenge

The Union staff

More than one week ago, at the invitation of the Iowa State Patrol, the California Highway Patrol joined agencies from 10 other states to embark on a lifesaving challenge to prevent fatalities on Interstate 80 during an eight-day period from July 24-31.

It was reported at the time that statistics indicate someone dies in a collision every eight days on I-80 in California.

It appears that trend has been broken — the CHP announced there were no fatal collisions on I-80 through the Golden State.

“The public played a vital role in the success of this challenge,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.

“It is amazing what you can accomplish when everyone works together, focusing on safety. Lives were saved through an intensive educational campaign, the motoring public’s cooperation and additional visibility by our officers.”

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, there were two people killed in collisions during the I-80 Challenge.

These fatal collisions occurred in Nebraska and Ohio; I-80 is nearly 2,900 miles long and stretches from San Francisco to Teaneck, N.J.

“Although the challenge may have concluded on I-80, the public should continue to practice safe driving habits any time they get behind the wheel,” Farrow said.

“Together, we can continue to save lives in California.”

The over-arching goal of the I-80 Challenge was to change driver behavior and focus education and enforcement on those factors that lead to traffic fatalities: speeding, driving under the influence, failure to wear seat belts and distracted driving.

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