|SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today participation in a nationwide effort to reduce highway crashes and fatalities over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) is a multi-agency endeavor that aims to reduce traffic violations by increasing police visibility and enforcement. In Illinois, aggressive drivers will be targeted as troopers keep an eye out for those who are speeding, tailgating, weaving, and otherwise posing a hazard to other motorists.|
"It is estimated that 33 million people will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend," said Illinois State Police Director Sam W. Nolen. "With the increased traffic it is crucial that motorists obey the speed limits and other traffic laws. Our increased presence on the highways will serve as a constant reminder."
Last year 23 persons lost their lives over the five-day holiday period, which runs from Wednesday through Sunday. Half of the fatal crashes involved alcohol. "Don’t be a part of the problem -- don’t drink and drive, and never ride in a car with anyone who has been drinking. The best way to avoid being a part of the problem is simple...if you are going to drive, don’t drink, and if you drink, don’t drive. Remember, your best defense against a drunk driver is to buckle your seat belt," Nolen advised.
Nolen also announced his agency’s participation in Operation ABC (Always Buckle everyone and Children in back), reemphasizing the ISP’s "zero tolerance" policy on unbelted adults and children. "Our troopers will issue tickets only – no written warnings – for seat belt violations," Nolen said. "Seat belts remain your best defense in a crash. We believe increased seat belt compliance will result in a decrease of highway fatalities, and that would be something we could all be thankful for," he concluded.