Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 2, 2013

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Paris Ervin 217.782.5025
Jae Miller 312.814.4693

Independence Day Brings Strong Reminders to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket

Law enforcement steps up summertime crackdown on drunk drivers and seat belt law violators; IDOT uses social media to promote safety

CHICAGO - The Illinois State Police, Illinois Secretary of State Police and more than 300 local law enforcement agencies are joining the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in the annual Independence Day crackdown on drunk drivers. This enforcement initiative brings a strong reminder to holiday motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Police also want motorists to “Click It or Ticket,” especially during the dangerous late night hours. This stepped-up effort around the Independence Day holiday is an effort to make Illinois roadways safer during what too often can turn celebrating and vacations into a tragic time, ruined by a serious crash.

Through Sunday July 7th, the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies across the state will conduct more than 100 Roadside Safety Checks and more than 500 saturation patrols to identify and remove drunk drivers from roads. In addition, nearly 400 Safety Belt Enforcement Zones and more than 380 nighttime seat belt saturation patrols will be conducted across Illinois reminding motorists to “Click It or Ticket.” More than $750,000 in federal traffic safety funds will be utilized for additional police patrols during the stepped-up enforcement effort.

The mid-summer crackdown comes as Illinois’ 2013 year-to-date motor vehicle crash fatalities are nearly equal to the same timeframe of 2012. Illinois Department of Transportation data shows 458 people have died in motor vehicle crashes through June 26, 2013 compared to 459 during the same timeframe in 2012.

“The messages “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” are two very simple life-saving reminders that motorists need to heed this Independence Day in Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Drunk driving is dangerous, deadly and against the law - and it will not be tolerated in Illinois. And, if you drive unbuckled in the front or back seat, you will be given a ticket.

In addition to staying sober on the roads, boaters in Illinois are also reminded to do the same and wear a life jacket. The Illinois Conservation Police will be increasing enforcement on public lakes and rivers over the 4th of July Holiday weekend looking for impaired boaters. During last year’s 4th of July holiday enforcement period Conservation Police issued over 450 citations to boaters on public waters.

Independence Day is often one of the deadliest holidays of the year in Illinois and throughout the nation as a result of drunk driving crashes. Data from IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety shows that four people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the Independence Day holiday in 2012. Of those fatalities, two, or 50 percent occurred in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator who had been drinking. In the last five years in Illinois, 55 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes during the Independence Day holiday period, and 62 percent (34) of those fatalities involved at least one driver who had been drinking. During the same five years, 3,567 people were injured in Independence Day crashes.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Crashes During Independence Day*

 

Crash Severity

Persons

Alcohol Involvement**

 

Year

Total Days

Fatal

Injury

Total

Killed

Injured

Killed

Percent of total killed

Average killed per day

2012

1.25

3

187

756

4

280

2

50%

3.20

2011

3.25

12

572

2,105

13

875

9

69%

4.00

2010

3.25

10

539

2,101

10

794

7

70%

3.08

2009

3.25

11

535

2,239

13

813

5

38%

4.00

2008

3.25

13

539

2,696

15

805

11

73%

4.62

*Crashes that occurred from 6:00 pm on the day before the first full day of the holiday period to 11:59 pm on the last day of the holiday period.

**Fatalities resulting from crashes in which a driver had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.01 or greater.

The 2013 Illinois Independence Day Crackdown is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by IDOT.

As part of promoting safe driving this 4th of July holiday, IDOT and Chicago’s B96 radio are giving away four pairs of tickets to the upcoming Legends of the Summer Tour concert at Soldier Field.

“Like” IDOT’s Traffic Safety page https://www.facebook.com/ILTrafficSafety and enter your information here https://www.facebook.com/ILTrafficSafety?v=app_526583567404981 for a chance to win. The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. CST July 4, 2013. B96 will draw names and announce the winners on Friday, July 5th.
 

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