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Illinois State Police encourage safe driving habits over Labor Day Weekend

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 19 Interim Commander, Lieutenant Cory Ristvedt, is reminding motorists to make safety their number one priority while driving during the Labor Day holiday weekend.  The Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest periods for motorists in Illinois.  Although the Illinois State Police will be out patrolling Illinois roadways, it will take a combined effort to ensure a safe holiday weekend.

The ISP encourages motorists to avoid the fatal four.  Speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving, and failing to wear your seatbelt, are the four most common causes of fatal traffic crashes.  A driver traveling at a faster speed will cover more ground and have less time to react to a road hazard.  Speed is also a factor into the severity of traffic crashes.  The ISP will be monitoring speed on Illinois roadways so be sure to watch your speed this holiday weekend.

Alcohol is often present during Labor Day weekend celebrations and it is also a factor in one-third of fatal traffic crashes.  The ISP encourages those who will be traveling this holiday weekend to please designate a sober driver.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on August 22ndand concludes on September 5th.  During the campaign,ISP officers across the state will show zero tolerance for impaired driving and seat belt law violations.  Seat belt use remains the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in a crash.  Regardless if you’re traveling across town or across the state, be sure to buckle up.

Driving distracted takes your eyes off the road.  Looking at your phone for five seconds while traveling at interstate speeds is like driving blindfolded the length of almost two football fields.  The ISP will be on the lookout for those driving distracted this holiday weekend.  Keep your eyes on the road, not your phone.

Lieutenant Ristvedt stated, “District 19 counties have seen an increase in fatal traffic crashes this year.  In fact, we had a total of 14 fatalities last year and we have already investigated 13 traffic crash fatalities this year.  Over 60% of those fatalities were not wearing a seat belt.”  “Please be mindful of the importance of buckling up,” he added.

The key to a safe Labor Day holiday weekend is to avoid the fatal four:don’t speed, drive sober, limit distractions, and buckle up.