Step Up in Enforcement of DUI, Seat Belt Laws on Area Streets during Holiday
Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest to take part in statewide driving safety program.
Area police will be cracking down on DUIs and seat belt violations through New Year’s Eve to make it safer to drive on village streets.
Enforcement, designed to curb traffic accidents and fatalities, is part of the state's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket programs.
Intensified enforcement effort will focus on the nighttime hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., when a disproportionate number of traffic deaths occur.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), midnight to 3 a.m. is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways.
The data also show that the highest percentage of driving under the influence and the lowest safety belt usage rate occurs after 9 p.m.
“The numbers do not lie," Oak Park Dep. Chief Anthony Ambrose said. "That is why we will be stepping up our late-night enforcement efforts. We want to make sure impaired drivers are off the road and motorists are buckled up.
The purpose of this high-profile program is simple, River Forest Dep. Chief Craig Rutz said.
"There are intoxicated people on the road. We want people to know that police will be out there to be sure they'll make better decisions," Rutz said.
Forest Park received a grant to participate in the program allowing the community to step up enforcement throughout the year, Dep. Chief Tom Aftanas said.
Police recommend a couple simple steps to avoid a crash or arrest for impaired driving – designate a sober driver and do not let friends and family drive impaired. Other important tips include the following:
- Call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get home safely;
- If drivers see impaired drivers on the roadways report them to law enforcement;
- Always wear a safety belt and make sure all passengers are buckled up. It is the best defense against an impaired driver.
For more information visit www.buckleupillinois.org.