SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) alongside Illinois State Police (ISP) today announced an all out Operation Save 100 campaign aimed for Illinois to have at least 100 less fatalities on its roadways this year as compared to last year. If successful, Illinois will have set an historic record by experiencing the fewest motor vehicle fatalities since 1921.
The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/DTS), ISP, and local law enforcement agencies and community advocates are coordinating the statewide initiative to save lives and costs associated with motor vehicle crashes. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost per motor vehicle fatality is more than $1 million.
“We continue to put our best efforts forward and work to save more lives every day. We have a wonderful partnership with Illinois State Police in this effort and we are doing everything possible to keep Illinois drivers safe behind the wheel,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “This initiative continues to be a top priority at IDOT.”
Operation Save 100 will officially begin on Thursday, November 12 and will run through the end of 2009. During this eight week enforcement campaign, more than 400 law enforcement agencies will be asked to enhance operations and provide weekly activity and crash reports. The earned media campaign will consist of television and radio interviews, bi-weekly press releases, periodic news conferences and community activities statewide. In addition, IDOT/DTS’s Occupant Protection, Impaired Driving, Motor Carrier and Operation Teen Safe Driving Programs will also be leveraged to drive the Operation Save 100 initiative to fruition.
"An integral part of the ISP's mission is to promote public safety and improve the quality of life in Illinois as we strive toward the state's goal of Zero Fatalities on our roadways," said Director Jonathon Monken. "That vision is shared by the men and women of the Illinois State Police through their commitment to traffic safety initiatives such as Operation Save 100. Through directed patrols, our officers have dedicated themselves to reducing the number of traffic fatalities in Illinois during 2009.
In 2007, 1,248 highway fatalities occurred on Illinois roadways. In 2008, 1,043 fatalities were reported. If less than 1,000, highway fatalities occur across Illinois in 2009, Illinois will join a small, elite group of states who have experienced less than 1,000 highway fatalities. Highway fatalities in Illinois have plummeted from a high of 1,454 in 2003 to lows not seen since 1923. The downward trend has accelerated with highway fatalities down on a provisional basis as of November 10th, from 883 at this time last year to 781.
For more information regarding IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety, please visit http://www.dot.state.il.us/safety.html.