Mt. Vernon Register-News

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November 21, 2012

ISP and local agencies prepare for holiday travel period

JEFFERSON COUNTY — — The Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state are gearing up for the beginning of the holiday travel period.

A cooperative effort between ISP and local law enforcement is aimed at stepping up patrols as the holiday driving season begins, to make the roads safe for all motorists, information states.

“Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday marks the beginning of the busy holiday driving period which continues through the New Year,” information states. “Beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 25, officials expect high traffic volumes on interstates and roads throughout the region, with Thanksgiving Day expected to be the busiest.”

ISP urges all drivers to adhere to the rules of the road and avoid the “Fatal Four” traffic violations:  Speeding, DUI, seatbelts and distracted driving.

State troopers will patrol the interstates and conduct roadside safety checks, with special emphasis placed on DUI enforcement and violators of the “Fatal Four.”

Fatal crashes on the interstates increase during Thanksgiving and a large number of these incidents are due to drunk driving, statistics show, according to the Illinois State Police.

“Although the number of crashes involving impaired drivers are on a downward trend, a single life lost to drunk driving is one life too many,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.  “Troopers and local police officers will saturate the roads and interstates with targeted patrols to enforce ISP’s Fatal Four mission - with a special emphasis on impaired driving,” Grau stressed.

The teenage driver is classified as the highest risk category for becoming involved in a driving fatality during the Thanksgiving holiday period, information states.

Over the last three years, teen and college aged drivers and passengers have been involved in 50% of all fatal crashes that have occurred the day before and Thanksgiving Day, information states. Teen- and college-aged drivers and passengers accounted for 31% of the fatalities in those crashes.

“We want to urge teens and students home for the holiday to understand the dangers of drinking and driving and the tragedy that too often occurs as a result,” stated, District 13 Commander Captain Thomas Stehley, “We want everyone to enjoy their family and freinds this thanksgiving holiday without the heartache of making poor decisions.”

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