State police remind drivers to stay safe over Independence Day weekend

Illinois State Police District Chicago Interim Commander, Capt. Margaret McGreal would like to remind motorists to drive sober or designate a driver while celebrating over the Fourth of July weekend. Driving under the influence remains the number one cause of fatal crashes during Independence Day celebrations.

Troopers will be doing their part to keep the roadways safe by watching for and arresting intoxicated drivers.

The ISP encourages those attending celebrations where alcohol is being served, to avoid drunken driving altogether.

These tips will help you avoid a tragedy:

• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.

•  Designate a sober driver before the drinking begins.

• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to ensure you get home safely.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.

• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to safely get to where they are going.

“Our goal is to have zero traffic-related fatalities over this Fourth of July weekend,” District Chicago Interim Commander, Captain Margaret McGreal said. “It is imperative you designate a sober driver.

“Please reduce your speed, wear your seat belt and drop those cell phones. Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday!”

During this holiday weekend, Troopers will aggressively enforce “Fatal-4” traffic violations: DUI, Speeding, Seat belts and Distracted Driving, all of which are contributing factors to traffic crash-related fatalities.

Speeding increases your chances of losing control of a vehicle and reduces the reaction time to respond to potential hazards. Drive the speed limit and pass only when it’s safe to do so.

Distracted driving is a nationwide epidemic. Illinois law prohibits the use of any electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.

Hands-free or Blue Tooth technology is prohibited for drivers younger than 19. Cellphone use of any kind is prohibited in work zones and school zones, unless it’s an emergency 911 call.

Put your cellphone down and be vigilant while driving.

Wearing a seat belt is the law; buckle up every trip, every time, day or night. Statistics show that 43 percent of crash victims found not wearing their seat belt suffered serious injury or death. Wearing a seat belt may save your life.

Remember to drive responsibly and share the road with other drivers. This holiday weekend will be safer and more enjoyable for all if we all work together.

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