Thanksgiving 2011 is here already and there’s lots of safety tips out there for you. For instance:
- William Shatner has a new video on the perils of frying turkeys improperly.
- The ASPCA has safety tips for pets over the holiday (no sage, no raw dough).
- The Illinois Department of Health has food tips for avoiding food poisoning from bacteria and the like.
However, there are going to be some folk out and about over the Thanksgiving holiday to make sure that you’re safe — this year, once again, police agencies all over Illinois and Indiana and the Midwest will be making sure that seat belts are being used as part of traffic safety as part of a national Click It or Ticket campaign, which will run November 24 – 27, 2011.
“Police agencies throughout the Midwest are joining together this Thanksgiving holiday with one simple goal – to get motorists to buckle up, which will save lives on our roadways,” said Michael Witter, Regional Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “We want all motorists to arrive at their destinations safely. While law enforcement officials will tell you that issuing tickets is never a pleasant experience, having to notify next of kin following a fatal crash is by far a worse scenario,” stated Witter.
State Police from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio are participating in the holiday mobilization according to the NHTSA.
In Illinois, it’s being publicized as Buckle Up Illinois and it’s being implemented alongside the state’s Drive Sober Illinois program with the state’s department of transportation running the show. From the Illinois Department of Transportation, yesterday, the following news release:
With heavy traffic expected over Thanksgiving weekend and to boost roadway safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today kicked off the Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization with Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies statewide. By the end of the weekend, Illinois motorists could see over 1,700 safety belt enforcement zones and 40 roadside safety checks conducted by over 200 law enforcement agencies, all with a special focus on safety belt violations and impaired driving during nighttime hours.
“Traffic safety is a central and inseparable focus of IDOT’s strategic mission- to provide safe, cost-effective transportation for Illinois in ways that enhance quality of life, promote economic prosperity, and demonstrate respect for our environment,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “During Thanksgiving weekend, IDOT and law enforcement agencies throughout the state will strongly promote safe driving by reminding motorists to buckle up and drive sober, every trip, every time.”
State and local law enforcement agencies are joining IDOT’s efforts to improve highway safety by removing impaired drivers, citing motorists who text while driving, and ticketing motorists who drive unbuckled.
During the holiday period, the Illinois State Police will patrol the interstates and conduct details directed at the Fatal Four moving violations, while placing a special emphasis on driving under the influence (DUI) and speed enforcement. The goal of the coordinated effort is to reduce traffic crash fatalities, promote safe driving habits, and discourage impaired driving, distracted driving and other unsafe driving behavior.
IDOT and law enforcement are also reminding motorists that, effective January 1, 2012, all vehicle occupants including back seat passengers will be required to wear safety belts, and children within appropriate age groups are to be properly restrained in child safety seats while traveling. Previously, the law applied only to drivers, front seat passengers and children. IDOT and law enforcement officials continue to encourage motorists to not wait until January 1 to ensure that everyone in every seating position is safely and properly restrained when traveling.
Illinois crash data over the last eight years (2003-2010) shows that back seat passengers who were killed in crashes were almost twice as likely as front seat passengers to be unbuckled.
During Thanksgiving in Illinois last year, 15 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes and nine of those deaths involved a drinking driver. In addition, 743 people were injured. Many tragedies could have been prevented if all motorists had made the right choices before hitting the road.