Police keeping eye on holiday season motorists

Area police departments, including Cary, Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, McHenry and Spring Grove, are taking part in the the 2012 Holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over/Click It or Ticket” crackdown.

The intensified enforcement effort against drunken drivers and seat belt law violators underscores the disproportionate number of traffic deaths caused by alcohol and failure to buckle up, according to news releases.

The stepped-up enforcement began Monday and runs through New Year’s Eve and will concentrate on the hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

From midnight to 3 a.m. is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways, and 9 p.m. is when alcohol involvement and low seat belt use begins to play a more significant role in motor vehicle fatalities, according to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Police officials also offer these tips for driving in the holiday season:

• Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.

• If you are drunk, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get home safely.

• Promptly report drunken drivers you see on the road.

• Wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers are buckled up.

Illinois motorists should be reminded that a law took effect Jan. 1 requires everyone, no matter the age or seating position, to wear a seat belt. Children are required to ride in a car seat or booster seat at least until age 8.

The law enforcement crackdown is administered by the state transportation department with state and federal funds.

For information, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.

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