The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state are working together to ensure motorists drive sober and buckle up this holiday season. Beginning Dec. 18 through Jan. 2, more than 150 police and sheriff’s departments will step up enforcement efforts to prevent alcohol- and drug-related crashes and fatalities.
“The holidays are a time to celebrate and make memories with family and friends,” said Priscilla Tobias, Director of IDOT’s Office of Program Development. “By driving sober and buckling up, you are not only helping make zero fatalities a reality in Illinois, but also ensuring that this year’s memories are joyful.”
Illinois State Police will be working during the Christmas and New Year season to reduce fatal crashes and arrest impaired drivers, strictly enforcing the four most common causes of fatal traffic crashes: the "Fatal Four"--DUI, speeding, seat belt and distracted driving. ISP is encouraging people to make sure to designate a driver if they plan to drink alcohol, and is reminding motorists to keep their eyes on the road--not on their cell phones. Additionally, when approaching flashing lights on the shoulder of the road "Give Them Distance," and adhere to the posted speed limits and buckle up every trip.
The enforcement campaign will be in effect around the clock, with heightened efforts during nighttime hours. Illinois motorists can expect to encounter DUI, speeding and distracted driving patrols as well as roadside safety checks and seatbelt enforcement zones throughout the state.
The holiday enforcement campaign comes as Illinois experiences its second consecutive year of more than 1,000 motor vehicle fatalities. In 2016, a total of 1,078 people lost their lives in a vehicle crash on Illinois roads; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 315 of these individuals died in an alcohol-impaired crash.
“Safe driving habits are essential to reducing fatalities in Illinois,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz. “The ISP continues to work to remove unsafe drivers from our roadways. We ask that you do your part to assist us in reducing fatal crashes. If you see an unsafe driver, please call 911 to report them.”
The Illinois Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket programs are funded with federal highway safety dollars administered by IDOT.