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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2013

CONTACT:
Paris Ervin 217.782.5025
Jae Miller 312.814.4693

2013 Click It or Ticket Memorial Day Mobilization Kicks Off in Illinois

Police step up enforcement 24/7 as IDOT data show unbuckled fatalities increase in late-afternoon hours

Chicago  – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced the kickoff of the 2013 Click It or Ticket mobilization, running now through Memorial Day. Young males, 18-34, represented a third of the 955 people who died on Illinois roadways last year, accounting for 317 deaths. Bringing this message home was seat belt advocate, Melissa Ledezma, who discussed her family’s crusade to save lives by wearing seat belts after losing their teenage son in a crash while not buckled up.

The Illinois State Police and more than 500 local law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on seat belt law violators from now through Memorial Day weekend. During the two-week mobilization, police will be directing extra enforcement of seat belt, impaired driving and other traffic laws during all hours of the day and night, with a large number of patrols occurring during late-night hours. In addition, special emphasis will be placed on late-afternoon hours when data shows unbuckled motor vehicle fatalities begin to rise.

Data shows that seat belt use begins to decline drastically in the nighttime hours (9pm-6am), but a significant decline in seat belt use begins in the 4pm hour on Illinois roadways. For the five years of 2008 through 2012, during the hours of 7am-3pm, 36 percent of those who died in crashes were not belted. That rises significantly beginning at 4pm when 43 percent of individuals suffering fatal injuries were not properly belted. Belt use continues to decline well into the night.

For this reason, IDOT, the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies statewide are reminding motorists that seat belt enforcement will be stepped up in the coming weeks. That means, during rush hour, motorists choosing to not buckle up are more likely to receive a ticket.

Since the Click It or Ticket campaign began in July 2003, seat belt usage has jumped to 93.6 percent in Illinois, one of the nation’s highest seat belt usage rates. The increase in seat belt use has resulted in thousands of lives saved in that time, and is responsible for a direct decline in Illinois motor vehicle fatalities.

“Even with 9 out of 10 motorists buckling up in Illinois, far too many people are still dying unbuckled, especially during certain times of the day,” said Illinois Department of Transportation Ann L. Schneider. “IDOT, the Illinois State Police and hundreds of great local police and sheriff’s departments are saying today that this needs to change.

“IDOT is utilizing federal safety dollars to assist Illinois law enforcement to provide more seat belt enforcement. They’ll be out there during rush hour, during the morning commute and during those late night hours when the most unbuckled fatalities occur. If you’re caught unbuckled or driving drunk, you’ll be given a ticket or arrested. It is not about money; it’s not about tickets. It’s about saving lives.”

“The Illinois State Police will be joined by all ranks of law enforcement across Illinois to deploy roadside safety checks, seat belt missions and DUI enforcement,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Law enforcement’s collective message is clear, one fatality is one too many, so don’t drink and drive and buckle up.”

More than 1.2 million in federal safety dollars has been made available to the Illinois State Police and more than 540 local law enforcement agencies to provide additional safety belt and drunk driving patrols during the two-week Click It or Ticket mobilization period. These grants fund thousands of seat belt enforcement zones and seat belt saturation patrols. Fifty percent or more of these patrols will occur during nighttime hours (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.). The mobilization also includes drunk driving enforcement with over 50 roadside safety checks. For more information about the Click It or Ticket campaign in Illinois, go to www.buckleupillinois.org.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Fatalities by Time of Day and Safety Belt Use
2008-2012

Hour

Total Fatalities

Fatalities Not Belted

Percent of Hourly Fatals Not Belted

Midnight-12:59am

110

76

69.3%

1:00am-1:59am

126

88

70.0%

2:00am-2:59am

139

83

59.9%

3:00am-3:59am

107

87

81.5%

4:00am-4:59am

80

49

61.4%

5:00am-5:59am

81

40

49.5%

6:00am-6:59am

101

52

51.6%

7:00am-7:59am

91

32

35.2%

8:00am-8:59am

75

42

56.2%

9:00am-9:59am

79

34

30.5%

10:00am-10:59am

90

31

34.5%

11:00am-11:59am

91

31

34.1%

Noon-12:59pm

102

42

41.3%

1:00pm-1:59pm

94

32

34.1%

2:00pm-2:59pm

130

38

29.3%

3:00pm-3:59pm

120

41

34.2%

4:00pm-4:59pm

112

49

43.9%

5:00pm-5:59pm

93

51

55.0%

6:00pm-6:59pm

107

52

48.7%

7:00pm-7:59pm

100

50

50.1%

8:00pm-8:59pm

94

54

57.6%

9:00pm-9:59pm

105

49

46.8%

10:00pm-10:59pm

82

53

64.8%

11:00pm-11:59pm

134

84

62.8%

Totals

2,443

1,233

50.5%

 

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