Iowa, we have a problem. A worst-in-the-nation problem. I didn't want to believe it, but after some recent crashes, I have to say it doesn't shock me. Iowa has a higher percentage of speed limit violators than any other state in the nation.

The new study, released by Insurify, says their statistics show 23.2 percent of Iowa drivers have gotten a speeding ticket in the last seven years. What makes it even worse? Iowa has fewer police officers, per capita, than any of the other states of worst-offenders. Geesh. Iowa has only 5,231 officers or 1.70 officers for every 1,000 people in the state. Still, nearly one of every four people has gotten a speeding ticket this decade. That's just plain awful.

Those tickets are expensive, too. Get caught going 80 in a 70 mph zone here in Iowa and, after court costs, you're looking at $114 out of your pocket. Here are the 10 states where the highest percentage of drivers have been ticketed for speeding in the last seven years.

  • #10: Washington State 18.7%
  • #9: Delaware 19.6%
  • #8: Virginia 19.8%
  • #7: Wisconsin 20.2%
  • #6: Ohio 20.5%
  • #5: Nebraska 20.8%
  • #4: Wyoming 21.3%
  • #3: South Carolina 22.7%
  • #2: North Dakota 23.1%
  • #1: Iowa 23.2%

The major chain-reaction accidents on I-35 in the last two weeks have made it very clear that we need to s-l-o-w down here in Iowa, especially when conditions warrant. Last Saturday, following what was just a minor snow, I counted 30+ vehicles in the ditch on I-380 between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids... and that was just northbound!

If we could somehow get everybody to take it a little easier on the gas pedal, many people would save major money in fines. Even more importantly, a lot more people would arrive alive. Ultimately, that's by far what's most important.