Let the busy travel season begin.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the busy holiday driving season which last through the New Year and law enforcement agencies are ready for the increase in traffic.
The Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies on Wednesday said they are prepared for high traffic volume on interstates and roads throughout the region, with Thanksgiving Day expected to be the busiest. During this period, motorists can expect to see an increase in officers and roadside safety checks watching for law violators.
"During the holiday driving period you can expect a larger volume of traffic on the roadways. With this larger volume of traffic you can also expect to see more police officers," said Capt. Brad Parsons, Illinois State Police District 11 Commander. "We will have additional troopers out to watch for motorists who may be driving in an unsafe manner. We will especially be watching for drivers committing any of the Fatal Four moving violations."
Officers will be especially watchful for speeding, driving under the influence, seatbelt violations and distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.
According to state statistics, the number of fatal crashes on the interstates increase during the Thanksgiving holiday period and many of those are due to drunk driving.
"Although the number of crashes involving impaired drivers are on a downward trend, a single life lost to drunk driving is one life too many," said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. "Troopers and local police officers will saturate the roads and interstates with targeted patrols to enforce ISP's Fatal Four mission -- with a special emphasis on impaired driving"
Teenage drivers are classified as the highest risk category for becoming involved in a driving fatality during the Thanksgiving holiday period. Over the last three years, teen and college aged drivers and passengers have been involved in 50 percent of all fatal crashes that happened the day before and Thanksgiving Day. Of the crashes that occurred on those days, teen and college aged drivers and passengers accounted for 31 percent of the fatalities.