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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Highway Deaths - Nationally

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Press Release Date: May 10, 2001    || Archived October 3, 2002
SPRINGFIELD, IL - While gun-related murders and school violence seem to dominate the nation’s attention, the violence which actually looms larger are the deaths and injuries that occur every day on our nation’s highways. In 1999, 41,611 persons were killed and 3.2 million injured in traffic crashes nationally.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is traditionally the kick-off of the summer driving season, and the Illinois State Police (ISP) would like to remind motorists of some safety precautions they can take to protect themselves, their friends, and their loved ones when driving:

Never forget that driving is serious business. Statistics remind us of the dangers on our nation’s roadways. Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition. Tires and brakes should be in good working order and lights operable. Obey all traffic laws. Violation of DUI and seat belt laws generate a lot of attention, but all traffic laws are important. If you are tired or fatigued, take a break from driving. Common sense says you cannot react as quickly to situations that arise when you are tired. Drive defensively. Always be on the lookout for other drivers. Part of driving defensively includes being courteous to other motorists.

"So often our safety message focuses on drunk driving or the importance of wearing seat belts. Both of these are extremely important," ISP Director Sam W. Nolen said, "but motorists should also obey other traffic laws when driving. In every crash, someone breaks a law. Think of how many lives could be saved if everyone obeyed traffic laws."

As part of the Memorial Day summer driving season kick-off, the Illinois State Police is participating in the Click It or Ticket Enforcement Blitz (May 21 to June 2), All American Buckle-Up Week (May 21-28), and the Combined Accident Reduction Effort (May 25-28). All of these initiatives benefit public safety by raising awareness of the potential danger of traffic crashes.

"Last year,17 people died on Illinois roadways over the Memorial Day weekend," Nolen said. "Practicing a few basic rules can greatly improve motorist safety when traveling this holiday weekend, or during the summer, or throughout the year."

For more information contact:
Public Information Office
Telephone: 217-782-6637
TDD: 1-800-255-3323

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