The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and hundreds of municipal and county police departments across the state announced today a zero tolerance approach for drunk and drug-impaired driving as part of the Labor Day holiday weekend “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The Collinsville Police department began enforcing DUI, seatbelt, and cell phone usage violations with a zero tolerance approach on Aug. 16.
One-third of fatal crashes in Illinois involve an impaired driver, acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren said.
“(N)early half of those could possibly have been prevented if seat belts were being used,” Borggren said.
There have been 562 motor vehicle fatalities in Illinois through August 26, which is 83 fewer than over the same timeframe in 2013, IDOT said. The department credited increased seatbelt usage as a factor in decreased Illinois motor vehicle fatalities over the past 10 years.
Motorists have been buckling up at an increased rate in recent years. A June 2014 observational study found that, for the first time, more than 94 percent of motorists are buckling up, IDOT said.
There were fewer than 1,000 Illinois traffic deaths in Illinois in 2013, marking the fifth straight year fatalities did not reach quadruple digits. In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available on the IDOT website, there were 40 traffic deaths (5,134 accidents) in Madison County and 28 (5,353 accidents) in St. Clair County.
Web series with “The Walking Dead” star launched
IDOT has launched a web series, called “The Driving Dead,” aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of not wearing a safety belt and also of driving impaired. The series is an advertising campaign starring Michael Rooker, of “The Walking Dead” television series.
Characters in the “The Driving Dead” live in a “Zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic world.” Not wearing seatbelts and driving impaired are still issues in the post-apocalyptic world of the web series. The series cleverly depicts the dangers of those behaviors, IDOT said.
Fans can connect with “The Driving Dead” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news, behind-the-scenes footage and future episodes of the series and by logging on at www.TheDrivingDeadSeries.com.