If you think you can travel in Illinois over Memorial Day without wearing your seat belt- please think again. The 2014 Illinois “Click It or Ticket” campaign kicks off May 9th.
The Evanston Police Department is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws.
In Illinois, as of January 1, 2012, all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts in all seating positions in the car, not just the front seat. During statewide observational surveys conducted by IDOT in 2013, the overall usage rate for rear seat occupants was 77.4 percent versus 93.7 percent for drivers and front seat passengers.
"Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the busy summer driving season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safely,” said Sergeant Tracy Williams of the Evanston Police Department’s Traffic Bureau. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone, who is not wearing a seat belt. This applies to the front seat and back seat of a passenger vehicle.”
In 2012, back seat passengers in Illinois accounted for 46 fatalities and over 5,000 injuries. Out of those 46 fatalities, 30 of them were not wearing their seat belt. Buckling up is the safest way and complies with the law.
"Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists still are not buckling up, especially in the back seat,” said Sergeant Tracy Williams. “Our goal is to save more lives and reduce the chance of injury to anyone traveling in a motor vehicle, so the Evanston Police Department will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock, looking for those who are not buckled up, in all seating positions. If you are caught not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”
Provisional numbers show that during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend there were three fatalities and almost 600 injuries on Illinois roadways. Two of those fatalities were alcohol-related. Remember – wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver. While this year’s “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign runs from May 9 through May 26, officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round. Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. You will save the cost of a ticket and may save a life.
For more information about the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, please visit www.buckleupillinois.org or contact the Evanston Police Department traffic bureau at (847)866-5064.