MORRIS – If you think you can travel in Illinois over Memorial Day without wearing your seat belt – think again. The 2014 Illinois Click It or Ticket campaign kicks off May 9.
The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office is joining state agenices and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws.
In Illinois, as of Jan. 1, 2012, all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts in all seating positions in the car, not just the front seat, according to a news release. During statewide observational surveys in 2013, the overall usage rate for rear seat occupants was 77.4 percent versus 93.7 percent for drivers and front seat passengers.
“Memorial Day weekend kicks off the busy summer driving season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound,” Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan said in the release. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone, front or back seat, who is not wearing a seat belt.”
In 2012, back seat passengers in Illinois accounted for 46 fatalities and over 5,000 injuries. Out of those 46 fatalities, 30 of them were not wearing their seat belt.
“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists still are not buckling up, especially in the back seat,” Callahan said in the release. “Our goal is to save more lives, so deputies will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock, looking for those who are not buckled up, in all seating positions. If you are caught not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed.”
During the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, there were three fatalities and almost 600 injuries on Illinois roadways. Two of those fatalities were alcohol-related. Remember – wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver. While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign runs May 9 through May 26, officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.
For information about the Click It or Ticket campaign, visit www.buckleupillinois.org.