The Crusader Newspaper Group

A holiday tradition: Pledge to buckle up and drive sober

IDOT partners with law enforcement to keep roads safe if you must travel

With the winter holidays underway, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are reminding travelers to buckle up and drive sober as law enforcement agencies statewide ramp up their Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns to ensure a safer holiday season.

“If traveling is necessary over the holidays, we urge the public to take some simple steps to help everyone reach their destinations safely,” said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “Buckling up is the best way to protect yourself, while driving sober is one of the easiest things you can do to protect others.”

If you are celebrating with family and friends, you are urged to practice appropriate social distancing, keep gatherings to a minimum and wear a mask. For more guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, visit

According to state crash data, three people died in three fatal crashes in Illinois last year between 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 to 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 25. Two were killed in crashes involving at least one driver who tested positive for alcohol. Current statistics show 1,075 people have died on Illinois roads this year compared to 972 at this time a year ago.

Now through the early morning hours of Jan. 4, motorists will see hundreds of additional seat belt enforcement zones and other patrols aimed at keeping Illinois roads safe.

“We remind everyone to ask themselves, first, is the travel essential, and, if it is, to please avoid the Fatal Four mistakes made by drivers – Speeding, Driving Under the Influence, Distracted Driving and Failure to Wear Seatbelt,” said  ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “While you’re doing your part to protect your family by socially distancing, washing your hands, and wearing masks, help us protect our first responders by obeying the Move Over Law.  We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.”

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs are funded with federal highway safety dollars administered by IDOT and done in conjunction with the Life or Death Illinois campaign launched in 2018.

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