Campaign targets drunk driving, seat belt use
Driver safety tips
Tips to avoid a potential crash or arrest involving drunk driving include designating a sober driver and not letting friends or family members drive drunk. Other important tips include:
• Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
• If you are drunk, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
• Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911;
• Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. It is your best defense against a drunk driver.
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:34AM
OAK PARK — Police in both Oak Park and River Forest will have extra traffic enforcement patrols on the street during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The extra enforcement is designed to address drunken or aggressive driving and non-use of seat belts.
In Illinois, during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2011, eight vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes – four of those deaths involved a drinking driver – and more than 800 individuals were injured.
“Fastening a seat belt takes only a second or two, and costs you nothing. Not wearing a seat belt, especially during this Thanksgiving period, will definitely cost you a ticket at the very least, or even worse, your life,” Oak Park Deputy Police Chief Anthony Ambrose said.
He said research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
River Forest Administrative Police Sergeant Mike Thornley said his department started extra enforcement on Nov. 13, when a total of 15 people were issued seat belt infraction citations.
Thornley said locations for additional enforcement will be chosen based on local accident and DUI arrest data.
Unlike previous years, most of the enforcement will be during evening hours. Local police say Illinois has a 93.6 percent daytime safety belt usage rate.
“Every time you take a drunk driver off the street, you’re potentially saving that person’s life and other people’s lives as well,” Thornley said.