Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm affirm that police departments throughout the country will be out in full force this Labor Day weekend in the final push of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
Coinciding with the holiday, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) released data reflecting a positive trend toward late-night drunk driving fatality reductions in recent years. IDOT hosted an event at Chicago’s magnificent Buckingham Fountain along with the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police (ISP), where they announced there would be a substantial increase in police presence this holiday weekend.
In additional stepped-up traffic enforcement details, there will also be heightened roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones, and late-night patrols. Beginning in mid-August 2013, more than 400 law enforcement agencies in Illinois joined the ISP in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” and “Click it or Ticket” campaigns, the highest number of participants ever.
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Illinois has successfully made these 2013 campaigns highly visible and repetitive, sending a strong message to would-be drunk drivers and passengers who forget to use seat belts. IDOT and state police departments point to mounting research that shows roadside safety checks and high-visibility campaigns like these reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20%.
The Illinois Transportation Secretary emphasized that these campaigns are not enacted in efforts to simply make arrests. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is, rather, about deterrence and prevention. It is about saving the lives of innocent motorists throughout the state. IDOT is pushing for zero fatalities this Labor Day weekend, and urges drivers to take responsibility and think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.
As mentioned, Illinois has seen a significant reduction in drunk driving fatalities in recent years, most specifically during the late night hours. State data shows that, between 2007 and 2011 there was a steady decline in alcohol-caused crash fatalities. In 2007, nearly 375 people died on Illinois roadways in drunk driving crashed; by 2011, that number was down to 233. That is a 38% reduction, and law enforcement agencies are determined to keep lowering the numbers.
The campaigns are particularly targeting impaired drivers on the roads late at night because that is the period of time (between 12 am and 3 am) when the most people die in crashes and when seat belt use is the lowest.
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Two other national organizations, the AAA and National Safety Council, are predicting that the number of travelers on the road this holiday weekend journeying 50 miles or more will reach somewhere into 30 million. The agencies also estimate that there will be nearly 400 traffic deaths over Labor Day weekend this year. The average traveler is expected to travel, round-trip, about 594 miles, due in part to reduced fuel prices and an increasingly positive economic outlook.
Of course, the more Americans drive to their Labor Day festivities, the number of fatalities and injuries on the roadway will increase as well. The National Safety Council estimates that there will be about 42,200 people requiring medical treatment after traffic accidents this year. This number could decrease drastically, however, if drivers and passengers consistently buckle up every time they get into a car.
Other safety recommendations include establishing a distraction-free zone inside that car (particularly when small children are present), allowing plenty of travel time, making sure all kids are in the proper safety seats, driving defensively, and, if you do drink, deciding beforehand how you will get back to home base at the end of the night.
Auto accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience representing clients and families seriously injured in roadway accidents, particularly those involving alcohol. If you or a loved one was harmed in a crash caused by the negligence of another, you have important legal rights, and may be entitled to significant compensation for you medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.