If you drive, make sure you take some extra STEPs to drive safely for the holiday.
The St. Charles Police Department is continuing the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program, or STEP, and reminds motorists to fasten their seat belts over the Thanksgiving holiday period or run the risk of receiving a ticket.
The program resumed Nov. 12 and continues through Nov. 25, according to a release from the St. Charles Police Department.
The STEP program aims to reduce motor vehicle crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities, through increased highly visible enforcement of occupant restraint, impaired driving, speed and pedestrian safety during national and state enforcement campaigns.
St. Charles police officers will be out in force conducting DUI and seat-belt enforcement in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation’s STEP program called Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
During the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday period in Illinois, eight people died in traffic crashes; four of those deaths involved a drunken driver, the release states. More than 800 individuals were injured. In St. Charles officers made four DUI arrests and issued 40 citations for other traffic violations during the 2011 holiday.
Fastening a seat belt takes only a second or two, and costs you nothing, the release states. Not wearing a seat belt, especially during this Thanksgiving period, will cost you a ticket at the very least, or even worse, your life.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in vehicle crashes.
The goals of the STEP program, the release states, are to reduce the number of severe injury and fatal traffic crashes, to achieve a higher use of safety belts, child safety seats and booster seats and to achieve a lower incidence of impaired driving involved injuries and fatalities.
Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent, the release states.
The St. Charles Police Department wants all drivers to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and all vehicle occupants to Click It or Ticket all day and all night. For more information about the Click It or Ticket and the Drive Sober Get Pulled Over programs, please visit www.buckleupillinois.org.