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ILLINOIS STATE POLICE DISTRICT 19 ISSUES SAFETY WARNING AHEAD OF UPCOMING PROM AND GRADUATION SEASON

CARMI, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 19 officials are reminding young drivers to think responsibly as they celebrate during the upcoming prom and graduation season. Our primary safety message is in the word PROM which asks teens to “Please Return On Monday.”

During the next several weeks, Illinois State Police District 19 Troopers will be conducting high visibility patrols with aggressive enforcement of the Fatal Four violations: DUI, Speeding, Seat Belt, and Distracted Driving, with a focus on DUI violations.

“As many communities plan to host high school proms and graduations, this should be a time of celebration and recognition; however, each year we see alcohol-related crashes associated with these events,” said ISP District 19 Commander Captain Kelly Hodge. “Please enjoy these upcoming special occasions with family and friends, but make the decision to not consume alcohol if under the age of twenty-one, and if you are twenty-one or older, don’t drive impaired,” added Commander Hodge.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2014 over 131 teens were involved in fatal crashes. The major reason teens are killed or seriously injured in traffic crashes are: lack of safety belt use, speed, distractions, impaired driving, or lack of driving experience. In 2015, there were 135 teen fatalities due to traffic crashes in Illinois.

In addition to the directed patrols, Seat Belt Enforcement Zones will also be conducted. The goal of these concentrated efforts is voluntary compliance. With the motoring public’s assistance, we can help ensure this year’s prom and graduation memories are positive ones. Think responsibly, buckle up, and don’t use alcohol or drugs.