Illinois State Police officials remind motorists to drive sober or designate a driver while celebrating over the Fourth of July weekend. Troopers in every district will focus on identifying “fatal four” traffic violations: driving under the influence, speeding, seat belts and distracted driving.
“This holiday weekend will be safer and a more enjoyable time if everyone does their part,” ISP Colonel Tad Williams said. “Remember, designate a driver before the celebration begins. Troopers will be doing their part to keep the roadway safe by watching for and arresting intoxicated drivers.”
The ISP recently instituted a crime and fatality reduction initiative designed to create an enhanced presence of enforcement operations during the days leading up to and throughout the July 4 holiday period. During June, ISP steadily stepped up enforcement during 3,425 hours of extra patrol utilizing 712 officers with a pre-holiday focus on increased police visibility and enforcement as a catalyst to change unsafe driving behaviors. Officers trained in criminal patrol will remain vigilant to address criminal activity while simultaneously enforcing fatal four violations.
DUI remains the No. 1 cause of fatal crashes during Independence Day celebrations. Drunken driving is just one of the fatal four violations. Speeding, driving distracted, and not wearing your seat belt are also contributing factors to traffic crash-related fatalities. Speeding increases your chances of losing control of a vehicle and reduces the reaction time to respond to potential hazards. Drive the speed limit and pass only when it’s safe to do so.
Keep your eyes on the road and off the cellphone. State law prohibits the use of any electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free or Bluetooth technology is allowed for person older than 18.
Buckle up. Statistics show that 43 percent of fatal crash victims were not wearing a seat belt.
The following tips will help you from becoming a statistic.
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
- Designate a sober driver before the drinking begins.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to safely get to where they are going.