ALTON – The Alton Police Department is announcing its plans for Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day Enforcement Campaigns focusing on the most deadly time of night for motor vehicle fatalities.
The intensified enforcement effort against the overwhelming number of late-night impaired drivers and safety belt violators underscores the disproportionate number of traffic deaths occurring from midnight to 3 a.m.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), midnight to 3 a.m. is the deadliest time on Illinois roads. Not coincidentally, the data also shows this time of night has the highest percentage of alcohol involvement and the lowest safety belt use. The next highest time frame for drinking drivers involved in fatal crashes was 3 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.
The numbers do not lie.
“Nighttime is the worst time for motor vehicle fatalities so we will be stepping up our late-night enforcement efforts, making sure impaired drivers are off the road and motorists are buckled up,” Alton Police Traffic Sgt. Michael Gordon said. “There were several traffic fatalities last year that involved the Deadly Three: time (late night); alcohol and age (25 years and younger).
"These three factors, when combined, spell death to our youth; creating a tragic situation for not only the families involved but the lives those youth touch every day," Gordon said. "Stay sober, don’t drink and drive.”
Alton Police recommend designating a sober driver and not letting friends and family drive impaired as just two of several simple steps to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:
- Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
- If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
- Promptly report impaired drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
- Wear your safety belt. It is your best defense against an impaired driver.
The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. The crackdown will run from May 2 through Memorial Day (May 26) and be reinforced with a media campaign that will remind motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.” For information, visit http://www.drivesoberillinois.org.