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10 ways Iowa got safer in 2013

September 21, 2013
By State Senator Steve Sodders - D- State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Iowa is a pretty safe place. We rank among the 10 most peaceful states in America in the 2012 U.S. Peace Index report, which looks at homicide, violent crime, policing and prison rates.

We also fare well when it comes to accidents. According to the Trust for America's Health, Iowa has the 12th lowest rate of injury deaths. Our state ranks high because we meet many recommended safety standards that keep us healthy and save lives. These include tracking the causes of injuries, prescription drug monitoring to prevent overdoses, required seat belt use and increased attention to head injuries in youth sports.

We further improved Iowa's reputation for safety this year by:

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State Senator Steve Sodders

1. Requiring criminal background checks of health care employees to prevent abuse and fraud.

2. Requiring repeat OWI offenders to install an ignition interlock device before they can get a temporary restricted license to drive to work and substance abuse treatment.

3. Ensuring teens get supervised driving practice in all seasons and face fewer distractions by strengthening Iowa's Graduated Driver's Licensing.

4. Requiring more criminals to submit DNA samples. Research shows those who commit property crimes have a high chance of reoffending, with crimes and violence often escalating.

5. Providing effective response to emergencies by through 911 funding.

6. Ensuring children are brought up in safe homes and get the care they need.

7. Protecting victims by providing more tools to law enforcement and helping those who've experienced domestic violence and sexual assault to get the services they need.

8. Toughening Iowa laws to better ensure law enforcement can prosecute and put away sex offenders.

9. Preventing recidivism through corrections education, which helps offenders acquire the skills to become productive members of their communities once they are out of prisons.

10. Allowing Iowans to add medical information to their electronic driving record, making it immediately available to health care providers in emergencies.



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