Online Staff Report
PECATONICA, Ill. — Illinois State Police (ISP) are reminding motorists to make safety their No. 1 priority while driving during the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest for motorists, and thousands of drivers are expected to travel roadways and interstates nationwide.
Illinois State Troopers will push for zero fatalities by enforcing the four most common causes of fatal crashes: speeding, driving under the influence, failing to buckle up and distracted driving.
“District 16 troopers will be stepping up patrols with the goal of locating speeders, impaired drivers, seat belt violators and distracted drivers,” said Lt. Martin Zamudio, District 16 Commander. “That doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to our other duties, though.”
ISP Director Hiram Grau said: “Traffic enforcement goes hand-in-hand with preventing violence, and troopers statewide will be enforcing both to ensure Illinois roadways and citizens are safe.”
ISP will also be on the lookout for illegal narcotics crossing state lines and traveling throughout the state. Canine units will be used to assist troopers with narcotic detection and investigations throughout the state.
“We know that the Labor Day holiday weekend is traditionally a time for family travel, but criminals are also traveling on Illinois’ roadways and expressways trafficking drugs, U.S. currency and illegal firearms,” said Grau.
“Whether a motorist is driving under the influence, or influencing criminal activity, our troopers will maintain zero tolerance for breaking the law,” Grau added.
Zamudio said Alcohol Counter Enforcement (ACE) patrols and Roadside Safety Checks have already begun leading up to the holiday weekend, and will continue throughout the weekend.
Last year, ISP issued more than 4,700 tickets statewide for speeding violations during the four-day holiday weekend from Friday to Monday. During that same time period, there were 67 DUI arrests; nearly 1,700 seat belt violations; and 27 distracted driver violations.
“Our goal is to see a reduction in the number of violations during the holiday weekend,” Zamudio said. “When there are fewer violations, we know motorists are paying attention to their driving and are considering the safety of others.”
Illinois State Police District 16 experienced zero traffic fatalities over the 2010 Labor Day weekend.
“A vehicle is a deadly weapon if not handled safely and responsibly,” Zamudio said. “We expect every motorist who gets behind the wheel to consider their safety and the lives of others when driving.”
ISP are responsible for the public safety of the citizens of Illinois and patrol more than 20,000 miles of the state’s highways.