www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

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

Stay Informed

Your Government


[Search Tips]

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
March 31, 2006

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Cites Illinois as Top in Midwest for Safety Belt Zones
Primary seat belt law signed by Gov. Blagojevich has led to increased seat belt use, 100 fewer traffic deaths a year

Nearly 4,600 Safety Belt Zones in 2005, Goal is 6,000 in 2006
 
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety (DTS) was singled out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from other Midwestern states for its efforts to increase safety belt usage.  NHTSA recently awarded IDOT with a specially engraved Louisville Slugger baseball bat for stepping up to the plate on its safety belt enforcement efforts.
 
Illinois’ primary safety belt enforcement law, signed by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in July 2003, is a key reason for reduced fatalities and increased safety belt use.  Prior to becoming a primary enforcement state, Illinois safety belt usage was at 76 percent, but now two years later it has climbed 10 percent to 86 percent. 
 
In the two years since Governor Blagojevich made Illinois a primary safety belt enforcement state, traffic fatalities have been at their lowest in more than 60 years.  Traffic fatalities dropped from 1,454 in 2003 to 1,355 in both 2004 and 2005.  The previous low was 1,328 in 1943.
 
“When you know 100 more people are alive today because of the changes we’re making in traffic safety, you know you’re making a difference, and that’s what government’s about,” Governor Blagojevich said.
 
“Legislation we worked to pass three years ago allowing law enforcement officials to stop drivers for not wearing their seatbelts resulted in a dramatic increase in compliance of the law,” said state Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago), chief sponsor of the primary seat belt law.
 
NHTSA awarded IDOT the specially engraved Louisville Slugger at its Great Lakes Region Law Enforcement conference.  It reads, “Hitting it Hard with 4,590 safety belt zones,” and is in recognition of the specific enforcement zones where IDOT teams up with local and state police to focus on safety belt violations.  The 4,590 safety belt zones by IDOT in 2005 were more than any other ever done by any state in the Great Lakes region.  The goal for 2006 is to have more than 6,000 safety belt zones in Illinois.  
 
“We are pleased with IDOT’s efforts to use safety belt zones and stepped up enforcement to increase compliance,” said Donald McNamara, Regional Administrator for NHTSA.  “Safety belt zones are an important part of increasing usage and saving lives.  It’s important that Illinois’ law enforcement and traffic safety communities continue to support these stepped up efforts.” 
 
“We know less than 15 percent of drivers and passengers choose not to wear their safety belts, and yet they make up more than half of the vehicle occupants killed in crashes on Illinois highways every year,” Secretary Martin said.  “Buckling up saves lives, it’s as simple as that, and IDOT is committed to getting everyone in Illinois to click it or ticket.”


###

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