With Independence Day just around the corner, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and law enforcement agencies throughout the state are joining together to prevent alcohol- and drug-related crashes and fatalities through a ramped-up enforcement period that runs through July 8.
“July Fourth is a great day to enjoy with family and friends,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Unfortunately, summer holidays often mean more vehicles on the road and more opportunities for crashes. If your celebration will involve alcohol or drugs, please do your part to ensure the safety of our roads by making plans for a sober ride home before the fireworks end.”
According to provisional IDOT data, four people died in motor vehicle crashes in Illinois last year from 6 p.m. July 3 through 11:59 p.m. July 4. Half of those fatalities involved a driver who tested positive for alcohol.
During the increased enforcement, ISP and local law enforcement will step up efforts to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities through roadside safety checks, impaired driving patrols and seat-belt enforcement zones.
“The Fourth of July holiday will be celebrated by many across the state and nation. Troopers will be patrolling the roadways during the holiday period with a focus on identifying the four major violations that lead to fatal crashes: speeding, driving under the influence, failing to wear a properly adjusted seat belt and distracted driving,” said ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly. “The ISP would like to remind motorists to celebrate responsibly. Our number one goal is to save lives. With the public’s cooperation, we are hopeful our efforts will result in fewer crashes and zero fatalities.”
Remember these tips to help ensure a safer holiday:
- Before the festivities start, make a plan to get a sober ride home.
- Ask a sober friend or family member for a ride, call a cab, take public transportation, use a ride-sharing service or stay where you are until you’re sober.
- Don’t let others with you drive impaired.
- Promptly report impaired drivers to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears a seat belt. It is your best defense in a crash.
The heightened enforcement coincides with IDOT’s efforts to drive down traffic injuries and fatalities through the Life or Death public safety campaign featuring true stories of Illinois residents killed in motor vehicle crashes. To learn more, visit lifeordeathillinois.com.