The weather was calm and quiet for much of December (except for the memorable December 15 tornadoes). It wasn't until after Christmas that winter started to rear its ugly head and of course, today could be one of the worst of the season so far. Heavy wind gusts leading to blowing and drifting of all that existing snow, and frigid temperatures and wind chills return. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. tonight, according to the National Weather Service. Drive safely if you must be out today.

That, of course, is the goal of the Iowa State Patrol year-round and they paid extra attention during the holidays, as earlier this week they released Operation C.A.R.E data they had been tracking from December 23-January 2. "Operation C.A.R.E.", also known as the Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is a program aimed to reduce traffic accidents across Iowa and throughout the nation. The state patrol is releasing its findings to improve crash awareness and reduction.

According to KCRG, there were a total of 3,854 enforcement stops across the state during that period, with 2,661 of them being speeding violations. 144 motorists were pulled over for not wearing their seatbelt, 33 for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

They also report 181 crashes leading to 5 fatalities and 12 felony arrests. There was a goal in 2021 to keep traffic deaths below 300. Unfortunately, that goal was not met and they hope the Operation C.A.R.E. findings from the holiday season are an early cautionary message to motorists going into 2022.

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