Traffic enforcement periods to continue
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Special patrols supplement regular police work
The Edwardsville Police Department will continue to conduct special traffic enforcement periods on select dates dedicated to having officers patrol for traffic violations.

Lt. Scott Evers said a special traffic enforcement period is when the department selects a time period and then officers devote extra time to enforcing traffic laws.

"We bring back officers in on overtime and they strictly work traffic details," Evers said.

He said that many times the officers are so busy with work, it is hard to find time to concentrate solely on traffic enforcement and this program through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides an excellent opportunity to work on traffic violations.

"As we continue to grow and get bigger, the officers are so busy that they cannot work to enforce traffic violations," Evers said.

He explained that this program allows the department to add extra time to the schedule and enforce traffic laws.

"It allows us to focus on it and get drunk drivers off the road," he said.

The current traffic enforcement period began on Oct. 16 and will be conducted until Oct. 29.

During this time, officers will be looking for impaired drivers, violations of speed laws and occupant protection violations.

Moreover, there will be a zero tolerance policy in effect for alcohol related violations, as well as seat belt and child safety restraint violations.

The department said that seat belt enforcement zones will be ongoing at multiple locations throughout the designated dates.

Evers said the traffic enforcement periods are financially supported through an IDOT grant.

Overall, the purpose of the special traffic enforcements periods are to get the attention of the public.

The program's is main goal is to help reduce traffic crashes and fatalities, highlight the importance of obeying traffic laws and the costs associated with traffic citations and driving under the influence.

Evers said the periods focus on speeding, seat belt and driving under the influence (DUI) violations.

"The traffic detail's goal is to raise the level of seat belt compliance and decrease the number of drunk drivers and accidents," Evers said.

Evers said the department has gotten grants from IDOT in the past to perform the traffic enforcement periods.

He said the department just received a new grant to continue the program until the fiscal year 2007.

"What we do is get a grant from IDOT about eight times a year and run special enforcement periods," he said.

Evers said the police department is then reimbursed for the officers' time worked during that period.

"We fill out paperwork and get money back from IDOT on the grant."

Evers said that he just applied for a grant for the new fiscal year which began in October.

"I wrote a grant proposal and we got the grant."

Evers said the program is extremely successful and beneficial to the community.

"I think it has been extremely successful program for us."

He added that the traffic enforcement periods have made the community aware of the various traffic violations and the cost associated with them.

"We give quite a few tickets to drunk drivers on overtime," he said.

The police department completed the eighth in a series of overtime traffic enforcement period on Sept. 30.

"We just finished up the IDOT grant for September," Evers said.

The enforcement period was from Sept. 11 to Sept. 30.

During that time, the department netted numerous traffic violations including eight DUI citations and 28 other traffic violations.

Also, during the same period, officers on regular patrol assignments issued 225 traffic citations and 12 DUI arrests and one zero tolerance.

In addition, the department said no fatalities or serious alcohol related traffic accidents occurred during this time period dedicated to enforce traffic violations.

©Edwardsville Intelligencer 2006