What are Those White Rectangles on Iowa Highways?
The Iowa State Troopers aren’t just watching you from the roads. They’re watching you from ABOVE the roads, as well.
Those white rectangles that you see spread out about ¼ of a mile are distance indicators. Iowa State Trooper Pilots know how long it takes you to get from one rectangle to the next and can figure out if you're speeding by timing a vehicle and consulting a chart, then relaying that information to a nearby Trooper on the ground.
In the 2020 Fiscal year, the Iowa State Patrol issued 73,777 speeding citations while patrolling over 11.6 million miles on Iowa roadways.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa State Trooper Pilots also issued 3,246 traffic enforcement utilizing ‘Air Wing’ – the state's only law enforcement air asset. They are just used to catch speeders, they are called upon for aerial searches for missing persons or fugitives, surveillance flights for criminal investigations, relaying emergency medical supplies, providing traffic control during large public events, safely monitoring motor vehicle pursuits, and the ability to assess disasters from above.
The Air Wing currently consists of seven fixed-wing aircraft located at five airports around the state and operated by six Trooper Pilots. Two of the aircraft are equipped with thermal imaging (FLIR) cameras.
Iowa was one of the first states to use aircraft to observe traffic violations from the air. The Iowa State Patrol’s Air Wing was established in 1956.
What Non-Iowans Think of Iowa
Iowa Is Home To These World's Largest Things