Area police departments are out in force right now, kicking off the Independence Day campaign for safe and sober driving, according to news releases from the Algonquin Police Department, the Lake in the Hills Police Department and others.
The safety campaign will run through July 6 to encompass weekends leading up to and following the Independence Day holiday — one of the deadliest times on Kane County roads.
“We want all our residents and visitors to have an enjoyable and safe holiday,” said Algonquin police Sgt. Robert Salazar. “Remember – if you’re going to drink or use other impairing
substances, don’t drive. We will be stepping up patrols to keep impaired drivers off the roads and ensure everyone makes it home from their celebrations.”
Kane County police departments join the Illinois State Police and more than 200 local police and sheriff’s departments for the increased statewide enforcement effort.
To keep your Fourth of July celebrations safe, plan ahead by designating a sober driver, not driving distracted and always wearing your seat belt. Other important tips include:
- Give your designated driver your keys before you go out.
- If you are drunk or impaired by marijuana or other drugs, call a taxi, take mass transit, or call a family member to get you home safely.
- Use your favorite ride-share service such as Uber or Lyft or use public transportation.
- If you see a drunk driver, pull over safely and call 911.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. It is the best defense against an impaired driver.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The
campaign runs concurrently with a media campaign reminding motorists that impaired driving has “Life or Death” consequences.
Preventing Hot Car Deaths
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 900 young children have died of heatstroke because they were left or trapped in hot cars. 2018 and 2019 were especially deadly where 53 children died each year, the most in the past 20 years.
NHTSA offers the following tips to help prevent children from being left or trapped inside a car:
- Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
- Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”
- Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
- Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
- Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.
SOURCE: Algonquin Police Department, Lake in the Hills Police Department, Illinois Department of Transportation