ALTON — Police and safety officials in Alton are reminding residents to fasten their seat belts and drive sober over the Thanksgiving holiday or run the risk of receiving a ticket.
The Alton Police Department is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by enforcing seat belt and impaired driving laws.
“Whether you’re going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, please make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seat belt. As of January 1, 2012, by law in Illinois, everyone must wear a seat belt no matter what seating position,” Traffic Division Supervisor Sgt. Michael Gordon said. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seat belt and arrest those choosing to drive impaired.”
IDOT says it is proud that Illinois has a 94.1 percent daytime seat belt usage rate. But too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up — especially late at night. During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Illinois, seven people died and 723 motorists were injured in crashes; three of those deaths involved alcohol. Officials say wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver.
“Our goal is to save more lives, so the Alton Police Department will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock,” Gordon said. “Additional enforcement will take place late at night when belt use is at its lowest and impaired driving is the biggest problem.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved more than 12,000 lives nationwide in 2012. Drivers are asked to buckle up and to encourage their loved ones to do the same: it can save the cost of a ticket and may save a life.
For information about the Click It or Ticket and the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.