Metro-East News

ISP adds extra troopers for holiday weekend

Illinois State Police will add extra troopers on the road this weekend to enforce traffic laws in an effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities.

District 11 will add more than a half-dozen officers to patrol areas in Madison and St. Clair Counties from Thursday to Monday, said Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. The ISP will be strictly enforcing the four most traffic violations: Speeding, driving under the influence, seatbelts and distracted driving.

“Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, with families and friends expected to travel in and through the Metro East for social gatherings, picnics and other festivities,” said District 11 Interim Commander Lt. Timothy Tyler. “Oftentimes, these social activities include an increase in alcohol consumption. One drunk driver can turn an exciting enjoyable summer event into a tragedy.”

Dye reminded drivers to designate a driver, buckle seat belts, obey speed limits and other traffic laws and not drive distracted. Under Illinois law, drivers can only use hands-free electronic devices while driving.

Last year, the ISP issued 3,309 speeding tickets during the four-day holiday weekend. During the same time period, there were 217 DUI arrests, 961 seatbelt violations and 164 distracted driver violations.

The extra officers will be paid with a federal grant, Dye said, aimed to reduce traffic fatalities.

“We will have extra troopers out aggressively enforcing all traffic violations during the entire weekend and we will be transporting impaired drivers to the nearest local police department for DUI processing,” Tyler said.