|SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today that roadside safety checks (RSCs) will be conducted across the state from June 29 to July 8, 2001. The checkpoints will coincide with the National "You Drink and Drive, You Lose" Campaign and Fourth of July Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) education and enforcement activities.|
RSCs will be conducted each day of the ten-day period in all 21 ISP districts. While the checks are normally conducted on weekend nights, motorists should expect to see them during non-traditional times such as weekdays and during daylight hours. Local police agencies will also join the ISP at many of the checkpoints.
"The Fourth of July is traditionally associated with outdoor parties and get-togethers which often involve alcohol," said ISP Director Sam W. Nolen. "We want to draw attention to the problems drunk and impaired drivers create on our roadways during a holiday. We believe these efforts will save lives."
According to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) estimates for 2000, over 18,000 crashes in Illinois involved alcohol, with 637 people killed and over 11,000 injured. In 1999, IDOT reported that one in ten alcohol-related fatal crashes occurred between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with 34 percent of all alcohol-related fatal crashes occurring Monday through Thursday.
Nolen said the RSCs will be conducted according to strict guidelines set forth by the courts. These guidelines include attempts to publicize upcoming checks through the media, and adequate advance warning signs preceding the checkpoints ensuring motorist and officer safety. Nolen also added that the purpose of the roadside safety checks is to remove alcohol impaired drivers, however, enforcement action will be taken in the event other violations are also observed such as unlicensed or suspended/revoked drivers, equipment violations, i.e., inoperable lights or unsafe tires, and failure to wear seat belts.
Funding for the roadside safety checks is provided by an NHTSA grant administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic Safety.