|SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois State Police Acting Director Gene P. Marlin today announced increased manpower levels and special patrols for the Thanksgiving holiday period, which runs from Wednesday through Sunday. Last year, 25 persons lost their lives on Illinois highways during the five-day period.|
"We’ll do everything in our power to make the roads as safe as possible," Marlin said. "But drivers need to do their part by obeying the speed limit, buckling up and avoiding drinking and driving."
Marlin said during heavy travel periods, the number of troopers on duty would more than double. In addition to regular patrol, officers will be assigned to special details including roadside safety checks, airspeed and laser speed details, wolfpacks, DUI, and aggressive driving patrols, among others. The multi-faceted approach is intended to increase police visibility and target the offenses which often cause collisions.
"Certainly, alcohol, speeding and aggressive driving contribute to the vast majority of injury and fatality crashes," Marlin said. "People who get behind the wheel without regard for these laws should know that there will be a huge contingent of troopers eager to enforce them."
Marlin also reminded motorists that the state police have a "zero tolerance" policy on seat belt usage -- citations only, no written warnings. Since this policy was initiated in April of this year, the number of seat belt citations issued has nearly doubled.
"The use of safety belts is a critical issue," said Marlin. "Accidents will happen, on the highway and close to home. Seat belts are your best defense in a crash, and it takes just a moment to safeguard yourself and the ones you love."
Marlin added that during the 1990s, an average of 22 persons lost their lives on Illinois highways over the Thanksgiving period. "We can do far better, but it takes commitment. We will fulfill our commitment by providing extra highway enforcement and assistance. Motorists must commit to obeying the traffic laws and driving responsibly. Together, we can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday," he concluded.