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  Club fees would help restore cuts to rape crisis centers   SPRINGFIELD, IL – With bipartisan support and ...
Nine individuals who perpetrated fraud schemes that cheated taxpayer funded government benefit programs out of ...

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

IDOT, Law Enforcement: Drunk Driving Ruins the Holidays

Posted by Admin On December - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
     Drunk driving fatalities remain consistent; police aim to save lives

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and 170 police and sheriff’s departments kicked off an all-out effort to keep drunk drivers off Illinois roads this holiday season. The end-of-year campaign comes as new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics indicate that while Illinois drunk driving fatalities are not increasing, they are not declining, either.

“This most recent data clearly shows drunk driving is still very much a problem in Illinois and the nation,” said IDOT Director of Traffic Safety, Jared Thornley. “This holiday season, don’t put yourself or others at risk because, chances are, you’ll be caught.”

In 2011, NHTSA estimates there were 278 drunk driving fatalities (motor vehicle deaths involving at least one driver with a BAC of.08 or higher) in Illinois. But in 2012 and 2013, the number increased to 322, a 15 percent increase from 2011. There was a slight decrease in 2014, with 317 drunk driving fatalities in Illinois in 2014, according to NHTSA estimates. As recently as 2007, there were 439 drunk driving fatalities in Illinois.

 

Nationally, drunk driving fatalities decreased just one percent, from 10,076 in 2013 to 9,967 in 2014. The statistics for 2015 will be available in late 2016. Click here for a year-by-year breakdown for Illinois and nationally.

This month, Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a proclamation declaring December as Impaired Driving Prevention Month in Illinois, asking motorists to do their part to make our roads safer by not driving under the influence.

 

This year’s holiday enforcement campaign features the familiar “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” messages and will include stepped-up DUI and seat belt law enforcement efforts. Through the first weekend of 2016, Illinois motorists will see this life-saving effort in their communities and throughout the state. Law enforcement will be increasing enforcement efforts, conducting roadside safety checks and safety belt enforcement zones.

 

“Driving under the influence remains a significant factor in fatal traffic crashes,” said Illinois State Police Colonel Tad Williams. “The ISP will be doing our part to help keep the roadways safe this holiday season by conducting extra patrols with an emphasis on removing impaired drivers. You can do your part by planning ahead to designate a driver or arrange for other responsible transportation methods. Voluntary compliance with safe driving laws is the goal for the ISP. Help make this a better holiday for everyone. Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

 

Data compiled by IDOT shows seven people died in six fatal crashes last year during the extended Christmas weekend (crashes from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 24, to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28.) Two of those seven individuals lost their lives in crashes involving a driver who had been drinking. 594 people were injured in crashes during the same time frame in 2014.

The Illinois “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs are administered by IDOT and supported by the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement.

Chicago’s First Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Will Speed up East-West Travel in Loop

Posted by Admin On December - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

 

Advocates urge city to add more features over time to further reduce travel times

CHICAGO, IL – Service will begin in the Loop Link corridor – Chicago’s first bus rapid transit project – on December 20, the City of Chicago announced.
The Active Transportation Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Ron Burke reacting to the news:

 
“The Loop Link is an exciting improvement for the thousands of Chicagoans who ride the bus, bike and walk across the Loop every day. The addition of dedicated bus lanes rightly gives transit riders priority downtown while freeing up space for protected bike lanes and people walking. We urge the city to continue to improve the corridor by adding more features like prepaid boarding that will further speed up service.”

 
In addition to red dedicated bus lanes on Madison St. and Washington Blvd. connecting Ogilvie and Union Stations to Michigan Ave., the project includes eight new downtown bus stations with better protection from weather for waiting passengers and raised platforms to ease the boarding process.

 
With the number of people biking downtown growing every year, new protected bike lanes will be added on Washington Blvd. and Randolph St., as well as a new two-way protected bike lane on Clinton St. that’s already being used. The city is installing its first protected intersections at five spots along the corridor, allowing people riding bikes to more safely travel through these high-conflict areas where crashes most often occur.

 
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have said they are continuing to test technology that would allow riders to pay before they board the bus and speed up the boarding process.

 
Active Trans spoke with transit riders from neighborhoods throughout Chicago who are excited about the potential benefits of the new additions to corridor.

 
Courtney Cobbs, 24-year-old social worker from Edgewater:

 
“I ride the 20-Madison bus often and always add at least 20 to 30 minutes to the estimated travel time due to the congestion. The city needs to continue to invest more in transit to attract millennials, save money and improve access to jobs.”

 
Ian Adams, 29-year-old Ukrainian Village resident who works in the Loop:

 
“Getting to the Loop is pretty straightforward, but transit within the loop is really lacking. I’ll likely ride the bus more often with the new corridor and ride my bike in the new protected bike lanes when the weather is good. I’m in business school in Streeterville and need to get across the Loop in the evenings when the streets are totally jammed.”

 
John Aquilina, 64-year-old architecture and construction project manager:

 
“I often need to make east-west trips across the Loop on a tight schedule and will likely ride the bus more often with the new corridor. Sometimes I avoid the Loop during rush hour because the congestion is so bad.”

 
Curtis Kuhn, 36-year-old consultant from Edgewater:

 
“I never take the bus across the Loop because I can walk faster. If the bus was faster and more consistent, I’d be much more likely to consider it.”

 
Matt Carley, 27-year old Lakeview resident:

 
“I frequently travel to Ogilvie and Union Stations to ride Metra to the suburbs to visit family and friends, and the dedicated bus lanes will save me time. I don’t have a car and rely on public transit and my bicycle to get around and truly experience the city.”

Labor Day Message from IDOT, Police: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

Posted by Admin On September - 3 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Roadside safety checks, nighttime driving patrols part of life-saving effort

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and hundreds of local police and sheriff’s departments across Illinois are reminding motorists that they will be out in force this holiday weekend, the culmination of a two-week crackdown on impaired drivers. The message and warning remains very simple: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Last year in Illinois, 16 people were killed in traffic crashes during the Labor Day weekend, the period between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Labor Day. The purpose of this enforcement campaign is to deter drunk drivers and prevent fatalities by increasing enforcement and maximizing awareness in an effort to save lives.

Illinois roads continue to be much safer than they were a decade ago. Motorists are buckling up at a higher rate than ever before, achieving a record 95.2 percent seat belt usage by front-seat occupants this year. Traffic fatalities remain on a steady decline. Traffic fatalities reached 1,363 in 2005. Last year, 924 people were killed, the sixth consecutive year fatalities failed to reach 1,000.

Despite these improvements, drunk drivers still play a role in more than 300 highway deaths and even more serious injuries each year in Illinois, with recent data causing additional alarm. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates show drunk driving fatalities (motor-vehicle deaths involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher) reached 322 deaths in both 2012 and 2013, compared to 278 in 2011.

“We are encouraged by the fatality reductions we’ve seen on Illinois roads in recent years, but we cannot be complacent,” said Jared Thornley, IDOT’s Director of Traffic Safety. “The fact is more than 900 people die each year on Illinois roads and, all too often, they die as a result of an impaired driver.”

Throughout the Labor Day weekend, ISP, Illinois Secretary of State Police and more than 250 local police departments and sheriff’s offices will conduct roadside safety checks and hundreds of hours of stepped-up impaired driving and seat belt enforcement details.

“For many, Labor Day weekend is the last opportunity for family and friends to spend time together before the start of the school year,” stated ISP Col. Mike Zerbonia. “Alcohol remains a factor in one-third of fatal traffic crashes. Please be responsible this holiday weekend and don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted, watch your speed and buckle up. This weekend doesn’t need to be the last time your family and friends see you alive.”

The crackdown, funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by IDOT, is coupled with an online media campaign, “The Driving Dead.” The web-based series features Illinois native and “The Walking Dead” star Michael Rooker living in a zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic world and depicting the dangers of unsafe driving. Fans can view the series at The Driving Dead and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Labor Day Drunk Driving Crackdown Begins in Illinois

Posted by Admin On August - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Law enforcement looking for drunk drivers to help stop deadly crime


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Drunk driving, especially around holidays such as Labor Day, is one of the deadliest crimes we face in Illinois and the nation as a whole. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police (ISP) are committed to saving lives and today the agencies announced the kickoff of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign leading up to Labor Day.

From today through Labor Day, state police will join more than 250 local police departments and county sheriff’s offices to step up enforcement with roadside safety checks and hundreds of additional hours of drunk and drugged driving patrols. In addition, motorists are being warned to buckle their seat belts no matter where they are sitting in a vehicle, especially during the deadly late-night hours.

As with all of the state’s high-visibility holiday enforcement campaigns, an important aspect of the Labor Day crackdown is getting the truth out to the public. That truth is that drunk and drugged driving destroys lives every day. Campaigns like this one aim to end the devastation caused by motor vehicle crashes.

“Progress in recent years is encouraging, but data clearly shows drunk and drugged driving remain a devastating problem on Illinois roads,” said Jared Thornley, IDOT’s Director of Traffic Safety. “Getting the word out about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving is a big part of why we do these holiday enforcement crackdowns. Unfortunately, the facts often aren’t enough to get the driving public’s attention. That’s why enforcement is necessary to keep Illinois roads as safe as they can be.”

Illinois has experienced improvements in the past decade with drunk and drugged driving fatalities, but impaired drivers still play a role in more than 300 highway deaths and hundreds more serious injuries every year.

“Labor Day weekend remains one of the busiest travel periods of the year and we want all motorists to reach their destination safely,” said ISP Colonel Mike Zerbonia. “ISP Troopers and our law enforcement partners will saturate predesignated areas to strictly enforce DUI laws. Designate a driver before going out this holiday weekend to help ensure everyone makes it home safe,” he stressed.

According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 475 traffic crash fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2004 in Illinois. That number dropped to a low of 278 in 2011. However, 322 drunk driving deaths occurred in Illinois in 2012 and 2013.

The Labor Day crackdown is part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs in Illinois, funded with federal traffic safety dollars and administered by IDOT.

Updated Interactive Cook County Highway Construction Project Map Launched

Posted by Admin On August - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways today launched a new, interactive map<http://cookviewer2.cookcountyil.gov/construction/> allowing the public to view the status of all road and bridge construction projects in Cook County.

The Highway Construction Project map provides information on all planned, current and completed road and bridge projects, covering all 557 miles of Cook County roads. Projects are marked by graphic icons of construction barricades which, when clicked, provide a location and a brief description of the work.  More detail on individual projects is another click away, with additional information provided at the bottom of the map.

Users can also switch between a street view and an aerial view, find their current location using GPS, and then see all the current or planned projects nearby.

“Time on the road is valuable to motorists. Seeing in real time where construction projects are being planned as well as projects that are already in progress is extremely helpful,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “We are always thinking of better ways to serve Cook County residents and our innovative team is to be commended for designing this interactive feature.”

The interactive map can be found on the Department of Transportation and Highways website<http://www.cookcountyil.gov/department-of-transportation-and-highways/> and is a joint creation with the Department of Geographical Information Services (GIS). The Highway Construction Project site is one of many geographic applications available to the public through Cook County’s award-winning GIS department. To see other applications and learn more about Cook County’s map applications, please visit Cook County GIS<http://www.cookcountyil.gov/maps-and-data/>.

Boulevard Lakefront Tour Returns August 23 for 30th Anniversary of Active Transportation Alliance

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago’s longest-running bike ride visits the city’s earliest parks, original boulevards, lakefront trail and the new 606 trail

CHICAGO, IL — Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking and transit, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary by bringing back a much-loved event — The Boulevard Lakefront Tour (BLT).

The BLT began in 1989, four years after the organization was founded as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (CBF). The ride continued through 2008 when CBF became the Active Transportation Alliance, and then the event was revamped in 2011 to the Four Star Bike Tour to accommodate different bike routes.

In honor of Active Trans’ 30th anniversary, BLT is back and includes routes that overlap with those from the early days of BLT and a throwback costume contest that is sure to feature tube socks and neon shirts.

BLT was the organization’s first fundraiser, but it was more than that. The ride occupies a special place in the history of Chicagoland bicycling because it proved to elected officials that thousands of people wanted to ride and improve conditions for bicycling.

“We go back to the days when very few people biked in the Chicago region and ours was often a lone voice,” said Active Trans board member and CBF’s first Executive Director, Randy Neufeld. “Even 10 years ago, ideas like protected bike lanes, the Divvy bike-sharing program, thousands of daily bikes trips to Metra stations, or the thought that 6,000 bikes per day would travel Milwaukee Avenue would have been viewed as pipe dreams by most everyone!”

“Active Trans and a relatively small group of volunteers scrapped and clawed for years, riding into a proverbial headwind of disinterest or outright opposition to bicycling,” said Ron Burke, executive director of Active Trans. “It’s gratifying to see our work paying dividends, with bicycling much more popular and mainstream today than when we held the first Boulevard Lakefront Tour in 1989.”

BLT’s fundraising success grew with the organization and allowed CBF to move out of survival mode into programs that made a powerful and lasting impact on the region.

“It’s fitting that the BLT is back to honor Active Trans’ 30th,” said Neufeld.

The ride, taking place on Sunday, August 23, will start and finish at Memorial Grove on UIC’s Chicago campus (from 1989 through 2009, the start and finish were at the University of Chicago). BLT features four family-friendly distances to choose from that primarily use low-traffic streets:

>> The 14-mile route includes Chinatown, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, Burnham Park, and Chicago’s lakefront plus more. 14-mile riders can participate in Active Trans’ Safe City Cycling class and get on-street bicycling instruction from a trained cycling instructor.

>> The 28-mile route shares the first 8 miles of the 14-mile route through University Village, the Near South Side, Bridgeport, Bronzeville and Douglas neighborhoods. Riders will continue further south along the Lakefront to Hyde Park before returning north on the boulevard system.

>> The 36-mile route heads south along the Lakefront Trail to Hyde Park and passes through the University of Chicago. Heading northwest, the route continues through Bronzeville, Bridgeport and the Lower West Side on the way to visit three of Chicago’s premiere green spaces, Douglas Park, Garfield Park and the new 606 trails.

>> The 63-mile participants will see much of the 36-mile route before heading northwest, eventually reaching Forest Glen and the North Branch Trail as it runs through Niles and into Morton Grove. After refueling at the northernmost point, riders turn south back into the city and continue down to Logan Square where they will enjoy a ride along the new 606 trail.

All routes will conclude at UIC’s Memorial Grove with a post ride festival featuring music, Goose Island beer, a throwback apparel contest and hot dogs! Online registration closes on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at noon. Register before Friday, August 7 to save $5 for adults. (Day of registration will be available as well with an additional late fee). Register at bltride.org. Special discount code blvd3 for $3 off your online entry.

Jesse White Encourages Kids and Families to Follow the Bicycle Rules of the Road

Posted by Admin On July - 28 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will be encouraging safe bicycle riding including wearing helmets in order to protect kids.

Secretary White will speak about the importance of using the Bicycle Rules of the Road, with the helpful tips from the City of Chicago’s Bicycling Ambassadors and the Chicago Police Department. A bike rodeo and helmet giveaway will follow.

Bicycle Rules of the Road pamphlets will be available at the event.

The event will take place Tuesday, July 28 at 10 a.m., at  Eckhart Park (behind the field house) 1330 W. Chicago Ave.

During the summer, people on bicycles share our roads with cars and it is important to bike safely and always wear helmets.

Head injuries are the most serious type of injury and the most common cause of death for bicyclists. Bicycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of head and brain injury by as much as 85 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Greenline Wheels and Active Transportation Alliance Partner to Enhance Bike Education and Encouragement

Posted by Admin On July - 27 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


Greenline Wheels management shifts to Active Trans

CHICAGO, IL— Greenline Wheels, founded in 2010 by a local family seeking to elevate the bike friendliness of the Oak Park/River Forest community, announced today that is has partnered with the Active Transportation Alliance in a management agreement to further advance its mission.

Beginning in August, 2015, the Active Transportation Alliance will assume day-to-day management of Greenline Wheels, with an eye toward increasing bike education, encouragement and safety programming beginning in 2016. The Greenline Wheels office will remain at 105 South Marion Street in Oak Park, but education programs will also be offered in nearby suburbs and the West Side of Chicago.

Active Transportation Alliance is non-profit organization that strives to create communities that are healthy, vibrant and environmentally friendly through better biking, walking and transit. Active Trans works throughout metropolitan Chicago, and it has more than 7000 members. In Oak Park, Greenline Wheels and Active Transportation Alliance have collaborated to advocate for better bike facilities and to deliver bike safety training at District 97 elementary schools through the “Kids on Wheels” program.

“Active Trans brings forth a strong history of experience and expertise to Greenline Wheels and to the Oak Park and River Forest communities,” said Mary Jo Shuler, founder of Greenline Wheels. “Our shared goals of elevating bicycle safety with designated bike routes, bike parking and education has resulted in successful collaborations, and I am excited that Greenline Wheels will benefit from the full time involvement of Active Trans in the coming years.”

“Active Transportation Alliance shares Green Line Wheel’s mission to encourage more and better bicycling, and we’re excited to continue the great work they’ve done over the past five years,” said Ron Burke, Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “This partnership gives Active Trans a foothold in the near west region to foster and support the growing popularity of bicycling.”

In addition to bike education programs, Greenline Wheels offers retail services, including bike rentals and tours, winter bicycle training, and merchandise sales from its Oak Park office. Retail services will continue in 2015 under the new management, and an advisory group will be formed to assess education programs and potential changes to the retail operations in 2016.

Active Transportation Alliance Looks Toward the Future in Celebrating 30th Anniversary

Posted by Admin On July - 6 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Five game-changing goals and sister nonprofit organization announced

CHICAGO, IL – The Active Transportation Alliance marked its 30th anniversary by announcing two forward-looking initiatives: the 2020 TransFormation Campaign and the creation of a new sister non-profit called Walk Bike Go.

The 2020 TransFormation Campaign aims to achieve five bold goals in the next five years. The goals will capitalize on the great momentum already underway in the region to make biking, walking and transit dramatically easier and safer.

Bike Walk Go, the new sister organization, will focus on fee-for-service work while also exploring innovative mission-aligned partnerships and ventures, helping to amplify Active Trans’ goals of creating communities that are healthy, vibrant and environmentally friendly through better biking, walking and transit.

Founded in 1985 as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (CBF), Active Trans has been the leading civic voice contributing to a sea change in support for so-called “alternative transportation” by advocating for more funding, street design improvements like the addition of bike lanes and pedestrian refuge islands, transit expansion, safe routes to schools, and laws that reduce traffic crashes.

“We go back to when very few people biked in the Chicago region and ours was often a lone voice,” said Active Trans board member and CBF’s first Executive Director, Randy Neufeld. “Even 10 years ago, ideas like protected bike lanes, the Divvy bike-sharing program, thousands of daily bikes trips to Metra stations, or the thought that 6,000 bikes per day would travel Milwaukee Avenue would have been viewed as pipe dreams by most everyone!”

With the intention of building on this existing momentum now underway, Active Trans is launching the 2020 TransFormation Campaign to raise money that will be used to achieve five game-changing goals in the next five years. The five goals are

  1. Region-wide low-stress bike network: A dense, connected network of low-stress bike routes across Chicago and the suburbs.
  2. Transit Future: Funding for the “Transit Future” plan to build multiple new rapid transit projects.
  3. Biking/walking education in elementary schools: All public elementary schools in the state begin teaching biking and walking safety and encouragement.
  4. Mobility education in high schools: High school driver’s education becoming “mobility education” with bike, walk and transit training in addition to driving.
  5. Vision Zero: The state, the city of Chicago and suburbs adopt and implement comprehensive Vision Zero plans that focus on eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

Thanks to ongoing efforts to influence legislation and policy at the state and local levels, Active Trans claims a long list of triumphs on behalf of people who bike, walk and take transit. Examples include state laws that require cars to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, create distracted driving restrictions, and clarify that cyclists can pass cars on the right. Active Trans has also played a key role in Chicago becoming a national leader in building protected and buffered bike lanes, the addition of Divvy bike sharing, trail expansion in the suburbs, and fighting for funding to keep transit affordable while improving and expanding service.

Active Trans also created Safe Routes to Schools programs and educated tens of thousands of children and adults on walking and biking safety. In addition, Active Trans’ annual Bike Commuter Challenge has engaged thousands of companies and encouraged tens of thousands of employees to incorporate biking in their work commutes.

Over its history, Active Trans’ expertise around cutting-edge transportation strategies led local, regional and state agencies to seek the organization’s help. This was the beginning of the fee-for-service consulting that enabled Active Trans to bring its know-how and passion to local transportation planning and safety initiatives. With a “seat at the table,” Active Trans has left its mark on transportation plans, programs and policies in Chicago and more than 100 suburbs, while also winning awards from the American Planning Association and other organizations.

“Where there is overlap between the goals of Active Trans and a city, that’s a platform for partnership,” said Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Ron Burke. “The partnerships result in far better outcomes than if Active Trans participated from a distance, and cities get a good deal because we are a non-profit organization with low expenses; we’ll even do additional work and pay for it with other funds.”

Burke said the creation of Walk Bike Go will strengthen the fee-for-service and entrepreneurial work that Active Trans has carried out and distinguish it from the education, encouragement and advocacy programs for which the organization is better known.

Working with the city of Chicago, Active Trans provides pedestrian and bike safety education for roughly 70,000 people per year. For two other programs in Chicago, Active Trans is educating residents about transportation options in five Chicago neighborhoods and is helping produce 75 pop-up playgrounds in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods on the city’s South Side.

Through a contract with the Cook County Health Department, Active Trans is developing six active transportation plans for underserved municipalities in suburban Cook County, and helping eight underserved Cook County municipalities develop and implement Complete Streets policies. In addition, Active Trans is currently developing active transportation plans for the Villages of Lombard and Bensenville, and for the Kane County Department of Public Health, Active Trans is developing three small-scale walkability studies for underserved neighborhoods in Aurora, Elgin and Carpentersville.

Active Trans began the process to create Walk Bike Go more than one year ago. It is now legally incorporated and will begin to operate when its 501(c)(3) non-profit status is approved, which is expected later this year.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”: IDOT, State and Local Police Join Forces for Fourth of July

Posted by Admin On July - 2 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Safety Campaign: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

Emphasis on drunk drivers, seat belt law violators to last through Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Our nation’s birthday, arguably the most patriotic day of the year, falls in the middle of summer, when Americans are enjoying their freedom and the opportunity to participate in Fourth of July festivities with family and friends. But Independence Day can be one of the deadliest holidays for those who aren’t careful when their celebrations include alcohol. The holiday can quickly move from festive to fatal for those who choose to drive after drinking.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that it is partnering with Illinois State Police and more than 270 law enforcement agencies as part of an Independence Day crackdown on drunk driving and seat belt law violators. During the two-week enforcement campaign, which began June 22 and lasts through Sunday, motorists will see an increased effort to improve safety with hundreds of additional patrols, including roadside safety checks and seat belt enforcement zones.

“The extended holiday weekend is the perfect time to celebrate our independence and heritage,” said Jared Thornley, Director of IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. “But we remind all Illinois residents that getting home safely is the key to enjoying this great holiday with family and friends. Do not ruin it by putting lives at risk.”

The message is simple – “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.”

If you’re caught driving drunk, you will be stopped and arrested. If you are unbuckled, you will get a ticket.

“DUI remains the number one cause of 4th of July fatal crashes,” said Illinois State Police Operations Col. Mike Zerbonia. “ISP troopers will be out in force this weekend cracking down on impaired drivers.  If you drink and drive, you will get caught and go to jail. Designate a driver before consuming alcohol.”

During the holiday crackdown, Illinois State Police will join law enforcement agencies across Illinois to conduct more than 100 roadside safety checks and 500 saturation patrols looking to remove drunk drivers from the roads. In addition, more than 550 seat belt enforcement zones will be conducted, more than half of which will be at night, when seat belt usage is typically at its lowest.

According to IDOT statistics, 63 people died in motor vehicle crashes over the last five Independence Day holiday periods, with 27 of those, or 43 percent, involving at least one driver who had been drinking.

The stepped-up effort comes as traffic fatalities in Illinois are slightly above last year’s totals. As of June 30, according to provisional IDOT data, 428 people died in on Illinois roads as compared to 405 during the same timeframe in 2014.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Crashes During Independence Day*

Crash Severity Persons Alcohol Involvement**
Year Total Days Fatal Injury Total Killed Injured Killed Percent of total killed Average killed per day
2014 3.25 12 NA NA 18 NA 3 17% 5.54
2013 4.25 17 658 2,660 18 945 6 33% 4.24
2012 1.25 3 187 758 4 280 2 50% 3.20
2011 3.25 12 571 2,106 13 875 9 69% 4.00
2010 3.25 10 538 2,101 10 793 7 70% 3.08

*Crashes that occurred from 6 p.m. on the day before the first full day of the holiday period to 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the holiday period.

**Fatalities resulting from crashes in which a driver had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.01 or greater.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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