Area police will be out in force this week to make sure holiday travelers are buckled up and driving safely.
According to a news release from the St. Charles Police Department, Illinois law enforcement will be working around the clock from now through Jan. 2, with additional officers will be assigned to DUI and seat belt enforcement.
The goal is simple: prevent motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries.
Correct seat-belt use is the most effective way to protect vehicle occupants in a crash. According to IDOT, the statewide seat-belt usage rate is 95.2 percent, yet unbuckled occupants make up a disproportionately large number of fatalities, representing more than 50 percent of people killed in motor vehicle crashes.
“Wearing your seat belt is second nature for most,” said St. Charles police Cmdr. Eric Majewski. “We’re looking for the few Illinois motorists who skip this lifesaving step. During Christmas and New Year’s weekend and throughout the year, motorists on St. Charles roads can expect to be ticketed if they are unbelted or driving impaired or distracted.”
Statistics show that nighttime driving comes with an increased risk for injury or death. Evening hours account for a higher percentage of impaired driving crashes, a higher percentage of fatalities, and a lower percentage of occupants wearing seat belts.
“We need our community to understand: It’s up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober – during Christmas and New Year’s, throughout the holiday and every day,” Majewski said. “Impaired driving remains a huge problem in Illinois and our country, and if arresting someone is what it takes to stop this deadly crime, so be it. Drive sober to help us put an end to these senseless crashes.”
The Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort is funded with federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
SOURCE: St. Charles Police Department news release