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Senate Study Bill 3101 is likely to save lives. That was the message delivered at Wednesday morning’s subcommittee hearing on the bill.

Senator Tim Kapucian chaired the subcommittee and said the bill would require any governmental entity which exercises jurisdiction over a highway to construct and maintain rumble strips on certain highways.

Rumble strips would be required in advance of all stop signs and traffic-control signals located on a highway where the highway enters or crosses a state highway. They would not be required on unpaved highways or on highways inside city limits or on highways with a speed limit of less than 55 miles per hour.

The bill is the result of a tragic accident that resulted in the death of Baylee Hess at a rural intersection with U.S. 30 in Benton County last Thanksgiving weekend.

Emily Madsen, a friend of Bailey, was at the subcommittee to support the bill.

“Bailey was a really big inspiration,” Madsen said. “She traveled across the country. She followed her heart and loved like no other. For us as family members and close friends, we want something to come out of this.”

Madsen said there was recently a similar accident near Muscatine, though that investigation is ongoing. A driver crossed over a state highway and there were no rumble strips to provide warning.

“This is going to impact a lot of lives,” Madsen said. “People know countless intersections like this. If there’s a way we can make a meaningful impact and continue on her legacy, I would like to see that happen.”

All three Senators — Republicans Tim Kapucian and Chris Cournoyer and Democrat Eric Giddens — supported the bill.

“I’m happy to do whatever we can to make our roads safer,” Giddens said.

“These roads come upon you quickly when you’re driving, especially in the dark,” Cournoyer said. “Anything we can do to make them safer I am in favor of.”

Kapucian said the bill is a step in the right direction as the DOT works to reduce traffic fatalities.

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Author: Jacob Hall