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updated: 11/19/2013 10:42 AM

Thanksgiving Traffic Safety Campaign

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Rosemary Mackey

West Chicago, Illinois: November 18, 2013 - The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and with all the excitement, travelers can become more focused on celebrations than getting to their destinations as safely as possible. The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies are participating in the Thanksgiving Click It Or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign this year, beginning Monday, November 18, 2013 through Saturday, December 1, 2013. More than 700 Safety Belt Enforcement Zones (SBEZs) will be conducted across Illinois during this high visibility enforcement campaign period. More than half of the SBEZs will be conducted during night-time hours, when belt use is typically at its lowest.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, nine people lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes - three of those deaths involved alcohol. Over 700 motorists were injured. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, research shows that when lap belts and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent. Seat belt use saves thousands of lives across America each year. In 2011 alone, seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide.

The message of the traffic safety campaign is clear. If you are caught not wearing your seat belt, the fine is $60 plus additional court costs. If you are stopped for drunk driving, you will be arrested. The best defense against a drunk driver is a seat belt. Buckle up! Every trip, every time - day or night. You'll be thankful you did.