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‘Drive to Survive,’ ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaigns start

Updated: February 18, 2013 1:17AM

Vernon Hills, Waukegan, Grayslake, Gurnee and Libertyville police departments have announced holiday checkpoints for impaired driving and seatbelt usage starting this week and lasting through Jan. 1.

In Vernon Hills, the target will be on seatbelts with the hopes of boosting the seatbelt usage rate, which stands at 92.6 percent now to reduce fatalities.

Effective Jan. 1, state law requires all passengers, regardless of age or location in the vehicle, to be secured in a seatbelt or an appropriately approved child restraint system. If a passenger has a disability or medical condition that makes him/her unable to secure his/her own safety belt, the driver is responsible for securing and adjusting the safety belt for that passenger.

The driver is responsible for all passengers inside the vehicle. Citations come with a $60 fine and court costs.

Safety belt use is especially important for teens and young adults. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 34 in the United States, according to police. Even though most people buckle up, the majority of motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes last year were not.

In Waukegan, the police department will be conducting roadside safety and sobriety checks and six days of additional roving patrols targeting those two issues.

On Dec. 28 between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., a sobriety and safety checkpoint will be established at Lewis and Rogers Avenue. This “Drive to Survive” campaign will be paid for by the Illinois Department of Transportation through a Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant.

The Gurnee Police Department will be adding an additional 60 hours of enforcement actions.

In addition to roving saturation patrols, occupant protection enforcement zones will be conducted at or near the following locations during the holidays: Northwestern and Grandville, Almond Road and Dada Drive, Crescent and Belle Plaine avenues, Lawson and Beachwood avenues, routes 41 and 132, Cemetery Road and Washington Street, First Street and Blackstone Avenue and St. Paul and Grove avenues.

Grant-funded campaigns are conducted in addition to officers’ regular patrol and enforcement responsibilities.

In Grayslake, the police department will be targeting the deadly night-time hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. with intensified enforcement. Libertyville police will also be targeting those hours.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the midnight to 3 a.m. timeframe is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways and 9 p.m. is the time of day when data shows that alcohol involvement and low seatbelt use begins to play a much more significant role in motor vehicle fatalities.

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