|SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today the enforcement figures for the state's new Motorcycle Enforcement Bureau (MEB). The unit is a combined effort of the ISP and Illinois Department of Transportation to provide Troopers more mobility and flexibility in addressing highway safety. Since its deployment on May 16, the 43 member unit has issued 17,167 citations through the end of October. Of those, 13,851 citations were for speeding, while 1,362 were for seatbelt violations. MEB officers also made 20 DUI arrests, and 97 other criminal arrests. |
"The formation of the Motorcycle Enforcement Bureau has given the ISP an additional resource to reduce the number of fatalities on our highways," said ISP Director Larry G. Trent. "These highly-trained officers will continue to strictly enforce speed limit and seat belt laws by issuing citations to motorists who choose to disobey these traffic laws."
The primary focus of the motorcycle patrol unit is speed enforcement in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities. The goal is to make Illinois' highways safer by aggressively targeting the "Fatal Five" violations; speeding, safety belts, improper lane usage, following too closely and driving under the influence.
In 2005, 188 people died in 163 fatal crashes on Illinois' interstate highways. Through the end of October 2006, there have been 119 fatal crashes on Illinois' interstate highways, resulting in 132 deaths. This is 18 fewer fatal crashes and 27 fewer deaths over the same time period last year.
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety Director Mike Stout stated, "Fatalities have fallen to levels not seen since the early 1940s, even though vehicle miles traveled have significantly increased."
Lieutenant Scott Abbott, Motorcycle Enforcement Bureau Chief, stated that even though winter is approaching, ISP motorcycles will still patrol highways as often as the weather allows. On inclement days, MEB officers will patrol in squad cars. The unit’s mission will remain the same. The Motorcycle Enforcement Bureau is funded through a grant provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and administered through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. Federal highway dollars specifically set aside for improving highway safety provided more than $500,000 to the unit for the motorcycles, specialized equipment and uniforms.