ISP to conduct variety of special patrols in May
Activities geared toward increasing safety on state's roadways

The Illinois State Police have announced several special patrols to take place in District 12, including Marion County, during the month of May.

Roadside Safety Checks will be conducted at two locations in District 12. The first location is Flora in Clay County on Friday, May 25. The second location is Centralia in Marion County on Saturday, May 26. Officers working these details will be watchful for drivers who are operating unsafe vehicles, driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license, transporting open alcoholic beverages or driving under the influence.

Captain Brian Hollo, ISP District 12 commander, has also announced that officers will conduct Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols in Fayette, Clark, Effingham, Marion and Clay counties.

Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols involve a combination of increased enforcement and public information designed to raise public awareness and compliance to all traffic laws. The Illinois State Police will conduct future Special Traffic Enforcement Patrol programs in conjunction with regular patrols. Safety Belt Enforcement Zones will also be used during the Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols. Troopers will enforce the primary safety belt law to ensure drivers and their passengers are buckled up.

Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols will also be conducted during the month of May. This program allows the Illinois State Police to target an area with saturation patrols that focus on traffic violations and related compliance with safety belt and child safety seat laws. Safety belt enforcement zones will also be set up to ensure the driver and passengers are buckled up.

Safety belts are one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save over 14,000 lives each year. Nationally, 21 percent of motor vehicle occupants still don't buckle up. In Illinois, approximately 36 percent of the people who died in traffic crashes were not properly buckled up. The objective of this program is to use a three-pronged approach to get compliance of the occupant restraint laws through education, child-seat inspections, and enforcement. This program hopes to increase awareness, acceptance, and use of occupant protection equipment.

Troopers will also be manning Give 'Em A Brake Construction Zone patrols in the District for the month of May. These patrols are worked in and around construction zones. They are designed to promote a safer atmosphere for the workers, as well as other motorists. Officers working the details concentrate their enforcement efforts on violations exceeding the posted 45 miles per hour speed zones, as well as "Scott's Law" violations (failure to yield).

If a person is found guilty of speeding in a construction zone, the fine could be up to $200.

District 12 troopers will also work with local law enforcement agencies to conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement patrols in District 12 counties during the month of May. The Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement patrols allow the Illinois State Police to target an area with saturation patrols that focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

Across the country, an average of one traffic death occurs every 31 minutes and someone is injured in an alcohol-related crash every two minutes. Alcohol and drug impairment remain significant factors in over 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Each year in Illinois, hundreds of lives are lost in alcohol-related crashes.