Police and safety officials in Tinley Park are reminding residents to fasten their seat belts and drive sober during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday or run the risk of receiving a ticket—or worse.
The Tinley Park Police Department is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt and impaired driving laws.
“Whether you’re going across town or across the state this St. Patrick’s Day, please make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seat belt,” Sgt. Chris Butler of the Tinley Park Police Department said. “As of Jan. 1, 2012, by law in Illinois, everyone must wear a seat belt no matter what seating position. Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seat belt and arrest those choosing to drive impaired.”
IDOT reports that Illinois has a 93.7 percent daytime seat belt usage rate. However, IDOT also reports that far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up, especially late at night.
During the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday in Illinois, nine vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Three of those deaths involved a drinking driver, and more than 700 individuals were injured, IDOT officials said.
“Remember: wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver,” Butler said. “Our goal is to save more lives, so Tinley Park police officers will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock. Additional enforcement will take place late at night when belt use is at its lowest and impaired driving is the biggest problem.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011.
“Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same,” Butler said. “You will save the cost of a ticket and may save a life.”
For more information about the “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.