The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest of the year, and Illinois State Police aim to keep the roads as safe as possible with extra patrols.
“Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, is the busiest travel day of the year and we will be highly visible. We will have a trooper every 20 miles. We do this periodically, especially on major holidays. We want to help everyone reach their destinations safely,” Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin “Buddy” Dye said.
The trooper every 20 miles idea started in Chicago on tollways, Dye said. “It’s called line patrol,” he said.
ISP Commander Timothy Tyler said motorists should be aware that ISP troopers will be highly visible to ensure that traffic laws are being obeyed, including speeding and seat-belt use.
“Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what you have and it’s to be enjoyed with family and friends. We hope everyone will travel to their destinations safely,” Tyler said.
“We support and urge voluntary compliance (with the laws) , but troopers and our law enforcement partners will be on patrol to keep the roadways safe from those who do not volunteer to make safe decisions while on the roadways. Tyler said. “I want to thank my fellow citizens in advance for helping us in our endeavors.”
Dye said he doesn’t want motorists to feel that police are picking on them, because they are not.
“It’s not that we’re picking on people. This is the biggest travel day of the year. We do this to deter people from making bad choices behind the wheel. We see the end results. No family wants to have a serious injury or fatality involving a loved one while they prepare to celebrate their holiday,” Dye said.
Dye reminded motorists to “simply keep your eyes on the road. Watch your speed. Buckle your seat belt and refrain from driving after you have consumed alcoholic beverages. Following these tips can reduce your chances of being involved in a traffic crash.”
Additionally, Dye said ISP has joined forces with the Illinois Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies to remind motorists to “Click it or Ticket.” The Click it or Ticket campaign officially started last Friday.
“The goal of this high visibility effort is to reduce motor vehicle crashes and the resulting injuries or fatalities,” Dye said. The campaign runs through Nov. 27.
“We will have additional patrols out to help remove intoxicated drivers from the roadways. They will be looking for drivers exceeding the speed limit, and distracted drivers, too,” such as people using their cell phones or texting while driving, Dye said.
Tyler added, “Alcohol can impair visual abilities, alter timing and space and impair fine motor skills needed to safely operate a motor vehicle.” For those who choose to drink, Tyler said, “We ask that they please be responsible and designate a sober driver.”