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IDOT and Law Enforcement Official Work Together to Ensure A Safe End to 2014

Lee Edwards | 12/31/2014, 1:55 p.m.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and more than 230 law enforcement agencies from across the ...
Illinois has an opportunity in 2014 to make even more history by recording one of its lowest annual motor vehicle fatality totals ever, with a chance at achieving an all-time, modern-day low. As of Dec. 28, there have been vehicle related 899 fatalities this year, a decrease of 76 on this same date last year.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and more than 230 law enforcement agencies from across the state are working in concert to decrease vehicle related fatalities as year 2014 ends.

Illinois has an opportunity in 2014 to make even more history by recording one of its lowest annual motor vehicle fatality totals ever, with a chance at achieving an all-time, modern-day low.

As of Dec. 28, there have been 899 vehicle related fatalities this year, a decrease of 76 on this same date last year. In 2008, there were 1,039 fatalities by year’s end. IDOT also takes note of the number of unlicensed drivers involved in fatal crashes. This year, 112 unlicensed drivers were involved in a fatal crash. Included in that data are drivers whose license was suspended, revoked, expired, cancelled or denied.

According to a Dec. 23 release by ISP, alcohol has been involved in nearly 40% of fatal crashes.

During the 2013 Christmas holiday (6 p.m. Dec. 24 to 11:59 p.m. Dec.25), two people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Illinois. Both fatalities involved a drinking driver. Over the last five years in Illinois (2009-2013), 38 fatalities occurred in Illinois during Christmas, 11 of which (29 percent) involved a drinking driver.

The statewide enforcement effort also features the familiar messages of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” to remind motorists of the consequences of bad driving behavior. Holiday motorists can expect hundreds more roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and other police saturation patrols looking for impaired drivers and seat belt law violators from now through Jan. 1.

The enforcement crackdown will coincide with the premiere of the latest episode of IDOT’S website series “The Driving Dead”, which will be available beginning Dec.19 at TheDrivingDeadSeries.com. The first video in the series, featuring Michael Rooker from the popular TV show “The Walking Dead” and the smash hit movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” was unveiled this summer and has received more than 640,000 views on YouTube.

The videos show the zombie-filled adventures of Rooker and other characters, who find themselves in situations depicting the dangers of driving impaired and not buckling up. You can connect with “The Driving Dead” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news and behind-the-scenes looks at the series.

In 1920, the first year motor vehicle fatalities were recorded, 728 people died on Illinois roads. In that year, vehicle-miles traveled totaled an estimated 3.46 billion miles. Just two years later, annual fatalities already increased to more than 1,000. Nearly a century later, annual fatalities again fell below 1,000, even though annual vehicle-miles traveled increased 30-fold in that time to105 billion each year. In 1920, Illinois’ annual motor vehicle fatality rate was 21.03 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2013, that rate was 0.94.

For more information about road safety this year visit http://www.idot.illinois.gov/index.