As summer traveling season approaches, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies Wednesday announced the “Click It or Ticket” campaign to crack down on seat belt law violators and impaired drivers.
“Throughout Illinois, Memorial Day means the start of summer road trips and an increase in traffic,” said IDOT Director of Highways Project Implementation Steve Travia. “With additional vehicles on the roads, it’s more important than ever to take standard safety precautions. Make seat belt use an automatic habit. It’s not just the safe thing to do – it’s the law.”
During the Memorial Day campaign, which runs through May 30, law enforcement will step up traffic safety efforts, reminding drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling up and the potential consequences of not wearing a seat belt.
The increase in traffic that accompanies summer holiday weekends almost always correlates with an increase in fatalities. Last year’s Memorial Day weekend – the period from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday – saw 14 crashes resulting in 15 fatalities in Illinois.
Preliminary IDOT data shows that between 2020 and 2022, there were 2,475 traffic fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 979 were properly buckled in a seat belt or child safety seat. That means more than 60% of those who died in crashes during this timeframe were not buckled properly.
“The Memorial Day weekend is often seen as the unofficial start of summer, a time when people want to get out and hit the open road,” said ISP Division of Patrol Col. Margaret McGreal. “Unfortunately, it’s also a weekend where we see an increase in fatal crashes. Holiday weekend or not – wear your seat belt, don’t speed, and don’t drive distracted or under the influence.”
For more information about “Click It or Ticket,” visit www.buckleupillinois.org.