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Local police to increase patrols for Thanksgiving week

Agencies to check for seat belt use, impaired drivers

In this May 24, 2013, file photo, traffic begins to thicken as motorists get an early jump to Memorial Day destinations in Indiana and Michigan as they travel an interstate freeway through Chicago.
In this May 24, 2013, file photo, traffic begins to thicken as motorists get an early jump to Memorial Day destinations in Indiana and Michigan as they travel an interstate freeway through Chicago.

Local police departments – including Woodstock, Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills – and law enforcement throughout Illinois will be working around the clock through Thanksgiving and the remainder of the year to make certain that travelers are buckled up and driving sober.

Local police departments are joining the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and about 200 local police and sheriff’s departments to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket and Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Drivers and passengers can expect a ticket from local police if they are spotted without a seat belt or with an unbuckled child in their vehicle.

Additionally, motorists are being warned that driving after drinking or using drugs or other impairing substances will not be tolerated.

Stepped-up patrols, including seat belt enforcement zones and roadside safety checks, will be seen throughout Woodstock and the state.

The goal is simple: prevent motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries. Correct seat belt use is the most effective way to protect vehicle occupants in a crash.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the statewide seat belt use rate is 95.2 percent, yet unbuckled occupants make up a disproportionately large number of fatalities, representing more than 50 percent of people that are killed in crashes.

“Wearing your seat belt is second nature for most, but we’re looking for the few Illinois motorists who skip this lifesaving step,” said Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb. “During Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the year, motorists on Woodstock roads can expect to be ticketed if they are unbelted.”

Statistics show that nighttime driving comes with an increased risk for injury or death. Evening hours account for a higher percentage of impaired driving crashes, a higher percentage of fatalities and a lower percentage of occupants wearing seat belts.

“We need our community to understand: It’s up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober – during Thanksgiving, throughout the holiday and every day,” Lieb said. “Impaired driving remains a huge problem in Illinois and our country, and if arresting someone is what it takes to stop this deadly crime, so be it. Drive sober to help us put an end to these senseless crashes.”

The Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort is funded with federal highway safety funds administered by IDOT.

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