ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Ahead of Thanksgiving, the Illinois Department of Transportation, State Police and local law enforcement agencies are offering drivers two pieces of advice ahead of their holiday travels: buckle up and drive sober.
Officials said that driving unbuckled drastically increases the chances of injury or death if a crash occurs. Proper seat belt usage, they said, is the single most effective way of saving lives in a crash.
“Whether you’re traveling a few blocks or several hundred miles, remember to always wear your seat belt and plan for a sober ride home,” said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “Too frequently, law enforcement sees the tragic results of driving impaired and not wearing a seat belt, both of which are the leading causes of deaths on our roads and easily preventable.”
State Police and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the holiday weekend to enforce seat belt laws through a high visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign. The campaign lasts through Nov. 28.
In addition to seat belt violations, law enforcement will also be on the lookout for drunk or impaired drivers.
“The day before Thanksgiving, sometimes called Blackout Wednesday, we often see college students returning home for the holiday and going out to drink with friends,” said State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “It is also an evening we see many drunk drivers. It’s simple: If you’re going to drink, don’t drive.”
Officials said that adhering to these two pieces of advice will make officers’ jobs simpler and safer.