www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Government
 Business
 Employment
 Education
 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 Visiting
 About Illinois
 Illinois.gov

Stay Informed

Your Government


Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General


 IGNN: State/All Press Release

ILLINOIS NEWS
The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces traffic fatalities approach 80 year low as record number of Illinois drivers buckle up
First-half of 2005 indicates fewer traffic deaths than previous year, could be safest year on highways in more than 80 years

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a record number of drivers are wearing their seat belts and that the state is on pace to set a new safety record on Illinois roads.  The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 86% of drivers observed were wearing their seatbelts, up ten percent from just two years ago.  At the same time, 2005 is on pace to record the fewest number of persons killed on Illinois highways since 1924.  Forty-one fewer people have lost their lives on Illinois highways during the first six months this year than the same time period last year.
 
“These new numbers tell us what we already know – the single most important way to protect yourself in the car is by buckling up,” said Governor Blagojevich.   “In 2003, we changed the law in Illinois, giving police the authority to stop motorists for not wearing their seat belt. As a result, we’re seeing more people than ever wearing their seat belts and we’re seeing lives being saved.”  
 
Before the primary enforcement law, police could not pull a driver over based solely on a seatbelt violation. At that time, seatbelt usage was just 76%. Since the Governor signed the law in July of 2003, safety belt usage climbed to 83% in June of 2004 and 86% in June of 2005.
 
“We are pleased with the efforts that have resulted in increased safety belt use in Illinois,” said Don McNamara, Regional Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “To continue this life-saving trend, it is critical that Illinois’ law enforcement and traffic safety communities continue to support strong educational and enforcement activity like the Click it or Ticket campaign.”
 
In 2004, the first full-year of primary enforcement, there were nearly 100 fewer deaths, or 1,356, compared to 1,454 in 2003. Through the first six months of this year there have been 597 deaths, 41 fewer than through the first six months of 2004.
 
“We had the lowest number of traffic fatalities on our roads since 1944,” Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Timothy W. Martin said. “I think through continued education and stepped up enforcement with our law enforcement partners, we will be able to reduce that number to 1,300 or below, which would be the lowest since 1924.”
 
“We have a strong working relationship with IDOT and we share similar goals in keeping the roadways safe for everyone,” said Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent. “Ultimately it’s your decision. But, because we care about our citizens, Troopers will continue to take a zero tolerance approach in seat belt enforcement. It’s been proven time and time again—buckling up saves lives.”
 
In addition to primary seatbelt enforcement, another law signed by Governor Blagojevich is contributing to safer roads.  The law increased the age of children to be restrained in booster seats from 4 years old to 8 years old.  Since the Governor signed the law in 2003, the state has hosted a series of car seat inspection events with 21st Century Insurance.  Illinois State Police Officers and members of the Illinois Department of Transportation have inspected over 953 child safety seat installations.  In addition, 21st Century Insurance has provided over 1000 child safety seats to Illinois families.


###

News Categories

 State/All
 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Agriculture
 Budget/Fiscal
 Business
 Children/Families
 Culture
 Disabilities
 Economic Development
 Education
 Environment
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 History
 Infrastructure
 Opportunity Returns
 Recovery
 Safety/Security
 Technology
 Tourism/Recreation
 Transportation
 Workforce/Jobs

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement

Features

Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2014 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us