Traffic enforcement effort underway for Fourth of July Weekend

By Ryne Turke on July 3 at 1:02pm

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You can expect an increase in traffic enforcement from police on West Central Illinois roads over the holiday weekend.

Lt. Michael Witt of the Illinois State Police says that police from 320 departments around Illinois will have stepped-up patrols, focusing on cracking down on speeding, DUIs, lack of seat belts, and distracted driving.

That doesn’t mean that State Police will be ignoring other crimes, however.

“While traffic enforcement is our priority, so is preventing violent crime. That being said, officers will be looking beyond traffic stops, for other illegal activity, for illegal firearms, illegal fireworks, that could be crossing state lines”

Over the Independence Day holiday period last year, 18 people were killed in car crashes in Illinois and alcohol was involved in one-third of the fatalities. In an effort to prevent this from happening again this year, the ISP will set up roadside safety checks and seat belt enforcement zones.

“We have to continually get this message out to those individuals who make bad choices, to let them know that the men and women of law enforcement will be out there looking to detect and arrest those individuals who drink to much alcohol”

Michael Witter, regional administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says a DUI comes with a hefty price tag in addition to possible jail time. After accounting for fines, lawyer’s fees, increased insurance rates and towing costs, the average fine in Illinois is around $16,000. There is also the possibility of death and injury to oneself and one’s loved ones.