"We want to bring together major
traffic safety stakeholders in Illinois and brainstorm on how best
to develop and implement a comprehensive highway safety plan," Gov.
Blagojevich said. "More than 1,300 people were killed on Illinois
highways last year. Our goal is to reduce that number to 1,000
people or less, and the CHSP will help move us in that direction."
The Division of Traffic Safety and
Bureau of Safety Engineering will be responsible for developing and
implementing the comprehensive plan. They are bringing together
public and private transportation professionals, state and local law
enforcement officials, and others to determine what needs to be
included in the plan.
A comprehensive highway safety plan
brings together safety organizations, state and local agencies to
build upon existing resources and provide a more coordinated safety
effort. It will focus on what are referred to as the four E's of
highway safety: engineering, enforcement, education and emergency
services. The American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials encourages all states to develop a
comprehensive highway safety plan as a way to reduce traffic
[to top of second column in this article]
"Through the enactment of the
primary seat belt enforcement law signed by Governor Blagojevich in
2003, we were able to reduce the number of people killed on Illinois
highways last year by almost 100," Department of Transportation
Secretary Timothy W. Martin said. "We feel that by bringing all of
the parties together under a coordinated CHSP, we will be able to
make even more progress in the future."
Preliminary numbers indicate that in
2004 there were 1,356 people killed on Illinois highways, compared
with 1,454 in 2003. The annual economic loss due to traffic crashes
in Illinois is estimated to be $10.5 billion.
A second safety summit for
development of the plan will be held later this month in
Springfield. Approval of the plan is expected later this year, and
implementation is expected to begin in the fall or winter of this
[News release from the governor's office]