The Grayslake Police Department, in their continued efforts to promote traffic safety will be participating in the Click It or Ticket Thanksgiving holiday campaign. Click It or Ticket is a two-week campaign focusing on seatbelt use now through Nov. 25.
The police department warns that whether you are traveling across town or across the state, if you or anyone in your vehicle is unbelted, you run the risk of getting an unwelcomed gift from law enforcement.
As of January 1, 2012, everyone, no matter the age or seating position, is required to wear a safety belt.
The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/DTS) is proud that Illinois has a 93.6 percent safety belt usage rate. However, far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up.
In Illinois, during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2011, 839 individuals were injured and 8 vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adults; males; motorists traveling on rural roads and individuals traveling in pickup trucks, especially during the late night hours. Data shows late-night hours are when the highest percentage of motorists die in alcohol-involved crashes and the lowest percentage of vehicle occupants are properly restrained.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 5 through 24. 281,788 crashes occurred on Illinois roadways in 2011 which averaged out to 772 traffic crashes per day. In addition, 918 persons were killed in 835 fatal motor vehicle crashes or 2 persons per day and a total of 84,172 persons were injured in crashes which average out to 9 persons per hour.
The total estimated cost of crashes in Illinois for 2011 was $5.5 billion with the following being the estimated costs for each type of accident:
- Fatal – $1,432,800
- Incapacitating Injury - $70,300
- Non-Incapacitating Injury - $22,700
- Possible Injury - $12,800
- Property Damage only - $9,000
Changing public attitudes regarding the non-use of safety belts and child safety seats will save many lives. It has been shown that visible enforcement programs focusing on these violations offer the greatest potential for changing these behaviors. If you fail to buckle up during this holiday period, you run the risk of getting a ticket, or worse, being injured or killed. The same applies when you have been drinking and choose to drive.
The Grayslake Police Department will be increasing their patrols in participation of this event to promote the following goals:
- To reduce the number of severe injury and fatal traffic crashes.
- To increase enforcement of occupant restraint, impaired driving and speed laws.
- To achieve a higher use of safety belts, child safety seats, and booster seats.
Regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Research has shown that when lap 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. Remember, the best defense against an impaired driver is a safety belt.
For more information about the Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.
Buckle Up and Stay Safe!
Submitted by the Grayslake Police Department