O'Fallon to conduct another traffic violation sweep

The O’Fallon Police Department has extra patrols out to enforce traffic laws during the third of five specially funded campaigns in the city.

To beef up patrols, a Speed Enforcement Grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation enables the city to hire off-duty officers to conduct the special enforcement.

During the second campaign, which ran from Feb. 3 through Feb. 28, officers were highly visible in saturation patrols and safety enforcement zones in the city. During that period 158 vehicles were stopped for law violations and 169 citations written. Of that total, 134 citations were for speeding, 12 for seatbelt violations and one for a child restraint violation.

“The O’Fallon Police Department is dedicated to saving lives through the use of these saturated patrols and occupant restraint enforcement zones, and we applaud IDOT for funding the grants to make this type of enforcement possible”, said O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham. “The ultimate goal of the enforcement zones is to obtain voluntary compliance of safety belt usage by every citizen who drives on the streets of our city.”

The campaign is aimed at reducing the injuries and fatalities associated with traffic crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 5 and 24. In 2003, IDOT recorded 1,454 fatalities in Illinois. During 2004, 1,355 persons were killed, and during 2005, 1,319 fatalities occurred. In 2006 Illinois recorded fewer than 1,300 fatalities, the lowest total in Illinois since 1924.

“Many lives can be saved by changing public attitudes regarding risk-taking behaviors such as speeding, impaired driving, and the non-use of safety belts and child safety seats,” said Police Chief John Betten. “It has been shown that visible enforcement programs that focus on these types of violations offer the greatest potential for changing these behaviors.”