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Thanksgiving weather outlook good

Police departments planning extra patrols

Published: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 4:52 p.m. CDT

Even though some snow accumulated McHenry County on Monday, the weather outlook for Thanksgiving is much brighter.

The National Weather Service is forecasting sunny skies on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, making travel on those days much easier. On Tuesday there is a 30 percent chance of snow.

However, for people traveling east on Interstate 80 on Wednesday should plan for a significant lake effect snowstorm, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Richard Castro.

To help ensure driver safety for those traveling for the holiday, many communities including Algonquin, Spring Grove and McCullom Lake are planning extra police enforcement to make sure people are wearing their seatbelts and driving sober.

"Whether you're going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, please make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seat belt," said Sgt. Jeff Sutrick of the Algonquin Police Department. "Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seat belt and arrest those choosing to drive impaired."

Since last year, state law requires everyone to wear a seat belt no matter they're seating position.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which helps pay for extra patrols, there is a 93.7 percent daytime seat belt usage rate in the state.

Still there are crashes involving people who didn't fasten their seatbelts.

According to a news release, in Illinois, during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday, nine vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes – three of those deaths involved a drunk driver and more than 700 people were injured.

Wearing a seat belt is the best defense against an impaired driver, said Spring Grove Police Chief Thomas Sanders.

"Our goal is to save more lives," Sanders said.

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