pushing 'Click It or Ticket' for balance of year
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[November 18, 2008]
SPRINGFIELD -- With highway
fatalities down by 22 percent provisionally thus far in 2008, Gov.
Rod R. Blagojevich announced Monday an all-out "Click It or Ticket"
mobilization aimed at saving even more lives during the Thanksgiving
holiday. While Illinois motorists have exceeded the 90 percent
safety belt usage mark for the past two years, the new campaign aims
to save even more lives by reaching a 100 percent safety belt
The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police
and local law enforcement agencies are coordinating the statewide
law enforcement crackdown. This campaign is coupled with a series of
new public service announcements featuring NASCAR drivers, who
remind Illinois drivers to buckle up every time they get behind the
"Law enforcement, community leaders and traffic safety advocates
across the state have worked tirelessly to increase safety belt
compliance, and we are very proud of their success," Blagojevich
said. "Every life counts, and that is why it is imperative for us to
stay vigilant and work toward raising the safety belt compliance
rate beyond 90 percent."
This year marks the fifth anniversary of
Blagojevich's signing the primary safety belt law in 2003. During
that time, statewide safety belt compliance has increased 14.3
percentage points, from 76.2 percent in 2003 to 90.5 percent in
2008. Also, highway fatalities in Illinois have plummeted by more
than 200 a year, from a high of 1,454 total fatalities in 2003 to
lows not seen since 1924. The downward trend has accelerated in
2008, with fatalities down by 22 percent on a provisional basis as
of mid-November, from 1,090 at this time last year to 888.
"Illinois has achieved remarkable gains in saving lives on our
highways under the leadership of Gov. Blagojevich, but with nearly
one out of 10 motorists unbuckled on Illinois roadways, we still
have more work to do," said Department of Transportation Secretary
Milton R. Sees. "Regular safety belt use is the most effective way
to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Traffic Safety
commends NASCAR for their part in ensuring that every Illinois
driver buckles up."
When worn correctly, safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury
to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and by 60
percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.
"The Illinois State Police remains dedicated to reducing
fatalities on Illinois roadways during the upcoming holiday season,"
said Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent. "Our officers
are determined to achieve a record-low fatality rate during 2008, by
enforcing safety belt and child safety seat laws during the Click It
or Ticket mobilization."
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During this campaign, more than 135 local, state and county law
enforcement agencies will dedicate 15,000 hours of enforcement
details Nov. 17-30. The Illinois campaign is supported by a
projected $325,000 in paid advertising featuring NASCAR drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that
safety belt compliance decreases by approximately 10 percentage
points at night. Even though only 25 percent of travel occurs at
night, the fatality rate per vehicle mile of travel is about three
times higher at night than during the day. Nationwide, nearly half
of motor vehicle fatalities occur at night. The Department of
Transportation's Division of Traffic Safety will focus on raising
the nighttime safety belt compliance to 90.5 percent by challenging
law enforcement agencies to do 25 percent of their enforcement at
For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign or to
download outreach materials for use in your community, visit
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]