EPD begins eighth enforcement period
By ANN NICCUM, aniccum@edwpub.net
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The Edwardsville Police Department began its eighth and final overtime traffic enforcement period on Monday.

Thanks to an annual Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) grant, the department is able to have extra officers on duty during specific dates throughout the year.

The grant pays for the officers to come in and work overtime at no cost to the department.

Lt. Scott Evers said this current enforcement period will be conducted until Sept. 30.

"We started the last one today. Eighth in a series of eight," Evers said on Monday.

During these periods, the officers are brought in on overtime and they focus primarily on traffic enforcement, he said. Violations, such as speeding and driving under influence (DUI, are the main focus.

During this period, there is also a zero tolerance policy in effect for alcohol related violations and seat belt/child safety restraint violations.

In addition, the department has seat belt enforcement zones set up at various locations in the city.

Evers said this final enforcement period is short and will only be 14 days long.

He said this period concludes the fiscal year for the IDOT grant, and in October a new fiscal year will begin.

"We have already been awarded the grant starting Oct. 1," Evers said.

The special enforcement periods will continue on in 2007 and into 2008.

The police department had just concluded another successful enforcement period recently.

From Aug. 20 to Sept. 9, the department had its seventh enforcement periods.

During those dates, officers on regular duty and overtime together combined to net 248 traffic violations and 17 DUIs.

Evers said the period was successful.

"It was very good. Obviously, we saw alcohol violations during the enforcement periods. We had 17 DUIs in less than three weeks."

During this time, there were also no fatalities or serious alcohol-related traffic accidents.

The IDOT special enforcement periods are designed to reduce alcohol violations, traffic crash injuries and fatalities.

At the same time, the program attempts to inform the public about the importance of obeying traffic laws, the costs associated with traffic citation fines and DUI costs.