COLLINSVILLE – Illinois State Police District 11/18 Commander Joe Kollins is reminding residents to fasten their seat belts and drive sober over the Thanksgiving holiday or run the risk of receiving a ticket.
The Illinois State Police is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly 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,” Kollins said.
“As of January 1, 2012, by law in Illinois, everyone must wear a seat belt no matter what seating position,” Kollins said. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seat belt and arrest those choosing to drive impaired.” According to IDOT, Illinois has a 93.7 percent daytime seat belt usage rate. However, far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up — especially late at night. Wearing a seat belt is the best defense against an impaired driver, police say.
“Our goal is to save more lives, so Illinois State Police troopers will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock,” Kollins said. “Additional enforcement will take place late at night when seat belt use is at its lowest and impaired driving is the biggest problem.”
Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday marks the beginning of the busiest holiday driving period, and continues through the New Year. Through Sunday, Nov. 30, ISP officials expect high traffic volumes throughout the region. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, is expected to be the busiest. Illinois State Police will implement periodic saturation patrols until the New Year to enforce ISP’s Fatal Four mission: speeding, DUI, distracted driving and seat belt usage.
As of Nov. 24, 822 people have died on Illinois roads in 2014, which is 85 lower than the same time frame in 2013. If this trend continues, Illinois fatalities will be significantly lower than they were in 2013, and possibly the lowest since 2009.