---- — SPRINGFIELD — Secretary of State Jesse White is urging motorists to celebrate the end of the year safely by not drinking and driving.
From 2010-2011, the last year statistics were available nationally, alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 4.8 percent statewide and by 2.5 percent nationwide.
“I believe the decrease in alcohol-related deaths is a direct result of the laws we have passed, however, we have more work to do,” White stated in a news release. “We need the support and participation of everyone in the state to ensure the safety of our roads during the holiday season and all year long.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
n In 2011, an estimated 9,878 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes nationwide. These deaths constitute 31 percent of the 32,367 total traffic fatalities.
n In Illinois, there were 278 alcohol-related fatalities in 2011, which was 30 percent of the 918 total crash fatalities. In 2010, there were 292 alcohol-related fatalities.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation:
n During the 2012 Christmas weekend, there were 10 crash fatalities statewide, two of which were alcohol-related. There were 529 traffic injuries, which is approximately 18 percent of the 2,852 total motor vehicle crashes.
n During the 2012 New Year’s weekend, there were six crash fatalities, two of which were alcohol-related. There were 475 traffic injuries, which is approximately 18 percent of the 2,623 total motor vehicle crashes.
Secretary of State Police will be conducting DUI and seat belt patrols during the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day period. The Secretary of State’s office will join IDOT, Illinois State Police and law enforcement agencies to enforce the Click It or Ticket campaign to increase safety belt usage during the campaign.