Illinois DOT, Illinois State Police heighten safety belt enforcement
Tina Grady Barbaccia | May 16, 2012
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) plan to heighten enforcement efforts leading up and through the Memorial Day holiday weekend, IDOT announced on May 16. Hundreds more safety belt enforcement zones and other patrols are planned over the historically and heavily-traveled holiday weekend. In addition, IDOT also launched a new Click It or Ticket public service announcement to further remind motorists the importance of buckling up.
“IDOT consistently and proactively wants all motorists to be well informed of safe driving practices, including always driving sober and buckling up every trip, every time, and in every seat,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider in a press release. “Even with last year’s front seat all-time safety belt usage record near 93 percent, our long-standing partnership with law enforcement further solidifies the crystal clear message to motorists to Click It or Ticket both day and night.”
The increase in enforcement has one goal – to save lives during the Memorial Day weekend. Over the past three years, Illinois has seen record lows with regard to vehicle-related fatalities. Enforcement will place a special focus on nighttime activities. Data continues to show that nighttime, from midnight to 6 a.m., is a particularly dangerous time to be on Illinois roadways with more instances of alcohol-related crashes and safety belts less likely to be used. Law enforcement also will be paying particular attention to enforcing the new safety belt law that requires all occupants to buckle up, no matter their seating position.
“Illinois State Police are urging the motoring public to buckle up and drive responsibly when traveling during the busy summer holiday season,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Every second counts when it comes to road safety and our officers will be enforcing all traffic laws and reminding motorists that seatbelts save lives.”
The Illinois State Police, the Illinois Secretary of State Police, and more than 500 county and local law enforcement agencies will provide additional safety belt and impaired driving patrols during the two-week mobilization period, which began on May 11. In addition, nearly 1,200 safety belt enforcement zones and 1,000 safety belt and impaired driving saturation patrols are anticipated in this time period as well. Fifty percent or more of these patrols will occur during late-night hours (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.). The mobilization also includes impaired driving enforcement, with more than 50 roadside safety checks.
Illinois has an excellent overall safety belt usage rate of 92.9 percent, but reaching that last 7.1 percent is a difficult task. In an effort to capture the attention of the intended demographic, males 18-34, IDOT has partnered with marketing firm Arthur Agency to develop an innovative and unique commercial. This year’s PSA features the positive effect of being buckled up and the negative effect of an unbuckled backseat occupant.
“Arthur Agency is happy to again partner with Flowers Communications Group to produce the 2012 Click It or Ticket campaign for the Illinois Department of Transportation,” said Dennis Poshard, president of Arthur Agency. “We feel strongly that this year’s spots are what’s needed to reach our target audience of 18-34 year old males. We hope the message helps prevent traffic fatalities.”
For more information about IDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign, go to www.buckleupillinois.org.
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