Illinois State Police emphasize safety during holiday travels
Area residents who planned to be traveling for the Memorial Day holiday were reminded by Illinois State Police District 22 interim commander Lt. Michael Alvey to take necessary safety precautions.
Alvey noted that Illinois State Police troopers are responsible for the safety of more than 20,000 miles of the state’s roads and highways.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods for motorists and millions of drivers were expected to hit the roadways and interstates.
A Memorial Day holiday enforcement period overlaps with the statewide Click it or Ticket safety campaign, which began on Monday, May 15, and runs through Wednesday, May 31.
Alvey said that District 22 personnel would be focusing on achieving zero fatalities by strictly enforcing the four most deadly traffic violations, also known as the “Fatal Four”: Speeding, driving under the influence (DUI), seat belts and distracted driving.
Last year, the Illinois State Police issued 3,204 tickets for speeding violations during the four-day Memorial Day holiday period – from Friday through Monday.
During the same time period, there were 196 DUI arrests, 732 seat belt violations and 229 distracted driver violations.
“The simplest things you can do to protect yourself while traveling is to avoid distractions, slow down, wear your seat belt and focus on the task at hand,” Alvey stated in a news release.
Alvey said that he wanted “to urge everyone to drive safely, drive smart, and arrive alive. Memorial Day kicks off the busy summer travel season. I encourage everyone to watch their speed, buckle up, and put the electronic devices down while driving.”
State police also reminded motorists about the “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to “Slow Down and Move Over” when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing warning lights.
Drivers must yield the right-of-way by changing lanes if possible, reducing the speed of their vehicle and proceeding with caution if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
The law now applies to motorists pulled off on the shoulder with hazard lights on as well.
Alvey added that alcohol is a leading factor in fatal traffic crashes, especially during celebratory weekends.
“Please do your part to help keep the roadways safe by planning ahead and designating a sober driver, calling a cab, or using a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. If we all do our part, we can make this holiday the safest one ever,” he stated.