Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2012

CONTACT:
Josh Kauffman (IDOT) 217.558.0517
Guy Tridgell (IDOT) 312.814.4693

IDOT, Law Enforcement Heighten Safety Efforts for Memorial Day Weekend

Hundreds More Seat Belt Enforcement Zones, Patrols Planned
 

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) today announced their plans to heighten enforcement efforts during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Hundreds more safety belt enforcement zones and other patrols are planned over the heavily-traveled holiday weekend.

“With heavy traffic anticipated over Memorial Day weekend, IDOT and law enforcement are ramping up efforts across Illinois to ensure safe travels and motorist compliance to state law,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Travelers can avoid citations and substantial penalties by habitually adhering to all traffic laws.”

The increase in enforcement has one goal – to save lives during the Memorial Day weekend. Over the past three years, Illinois has seen record lows with regard to vehicle-related fatalities.

Data continues to show that nighttime, from midnight to 6 a.m., is a particularly dangerous time to be on Illinois roadways with more instances of alcohol-related crashes and safety belts less likely to be used. Law enforcement also will be paying particular attention to enforcing the new safety belt law that requires all occupants to buckle up, no matter their seating position.

"Illinois State Police are urging the motoring public to buckle up and drive responsibly when traveling during the busy holiday season," said ISP Director Hiram Grau. "Every second counts when it comes to road safety and our officers will be enforcing all traffic laws and reminding motorists that seatbelts save lives.”

The Illinois State Police, the Illinois Secretary of State Police, and more than 500 county and local law enforcement agencies are providing additional safety belt and impaired driving patrols during the two-week mobilization period, which began on May 11. In addition, nearly 1,200 safety belt enforcement zones and 1,000 safety belt and impaired driving are anticipated to be complete by the end of the Memorial Day mobilization.

Fifty percent or more of these patrols will occur during late-night hours (11 p.m.-6 a.m.). The mobilization also includes impaired driving enforcement, including more than 50 roadside safety checks.

Illinois has an excellent overall safety belt usage rate of 92.9 percent, but reaching that last 7.1 percent is a difficult task. For more information about the Click It or Ticket campaign in Illinois, go to www.buckleupillinois.org.

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