Metro-East News

ISP asking drivers to sTEP it up on traffic safety

Timothy Tyler, Illinois State Police District 11 commander, announced Friday that ISP troopers will be conducting several enforcement periods and patrols in St. Clair and Madison counties during the month of May to increase awareness surrounding safe driving practices and laws.

Troopers will be conducting saturation patrols and safety check points to focus on areas such as seat belts, driving under the influence and speeding, according to a release from trooper Calvin Dye Jr.

These special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, referred to as the sTEP program, “involves a combination of increased enforcement and public information designed to raise public awareness and compliance to all traffic laws.”

Dye wrote that speed-related crashes in Illinois account for more than 40 percent of all traffic deaths.

In another effort to keep drivers safe, the release stated, seat belt enforcement zones will be used so that troops can enforce laws that require all people to wear a safety restraint.

National statistics show that half of people killed in traffic accidents are not restrained properly.

“Every hour someone dies in America simply because they are not wearing their safety belt,” Dye wrote.

Troopers may also conduct roadside safety checks to encourage drivers to not drive under the influence of alcohol and designate a sober driver.

Much like not wearing a seat belts, driving under the influence causes a traffic death every 45 minutes. Impairment from drugs and alcohol are factors in more than 40 percent of all fatal crashes in Illinois.

Troopers will also be on the lookout for people driving at night in an unsafe manner, driving with open alcohol containers or driving without a valid license.

This project is paid for by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.