Ready, set, buckle up!

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Police all over Iowa are paying special attention this week to anyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt while driving or riding in a vehicle.

STEP, which stands for special traffic enforcement program, includes this Thanksgiving holiday week enforcement aimed at getting you to buckle up.

Iowa authorities say people in rural communities are more likely to fail to wear a seatbelt.

Local and state law enforcement officers will pay special attention to people on the roads this week.  In addition to seatbelt violations, officers will be watching for impaired drivers and other moving violations.

More than one-third of the 299 traffic fatalities so far in Iowa involved people who were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. 

The last STEP wave happened around Labor Day, when Iowa officers reported more than 2,300 seatbelt violations.  They also busted 13,443 speeding motorists, 847 impaired drivers and 34,335 other traffic violators. 

The state’s next STEP wave is planned for March 14 – 17, 2013.