PECATONIA, Ill. — This time of year, many people in Jo Daviess County are on the lookout for beautiful fall colors. Illinois State Police District 16 Commander, Lt. Martin Zamudio, and Jo Daviess County Sheriff Kevin Turner are warning motorists to keep an eye out for a couple of different colors — red and blue.
More than 900 people were killed on Illinois roadways in 2010 and many more traveling in rural areas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), only 23 percent of the United States population lived in rural areas in 2008, but rural fatalities accounted for 56 percent of all traffic fatalities.
“There are several causes factoring in to the higher percentage of fatalities in rural areas, but the leading factor is people in rural areas use their seat belts less than anywhere else,” said Lt. Zamudio. “Surprisingly, new drivers, with their recent driver education training, wear their seat belts less than any other age group.”
Sheriff Turner said: “Since 2006, 25 people have lost their lives in traffic crashes in Jo Daviess County. That is why deputies will be working with troopers to more aggressively enforce seat belt and child restraint violations.”
Troopers and deputies will be focusing on school routes throughout Jo Daviess County ensuring that drivers, especially young drivers, get the message. “Our goal is not to write tickets, it is to prevent injury and death in our county,” said Turner. “The loss of one life can affect countless people — husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, neighbors and friends.”
“It is quite simple. When you get behind the wheel, choose to buckle up and put your child in a safety seat. These choices can save you money and, quite possibly, your life,” concluded Zamudio.
From the Nov. 9-15, 2011, issue