Memorial Day Weekend 2013: Click It or Ticket Campaigns in Indiana and Illinois While Fans Gear Up for Indy 500

Memorial Day Weekend 2013: Click It or Ticket Campaigns in Indiana and Illinois While Fans Gear Up for Indy 500

This weekend the entire country will be celebrating Memorial Day 2013, and here in our part of the country there is the added fun of the annual Indianapolis 500.  The fever for the internationally known 500 mile car race is growing: today, it was just announced that former Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh will be driving the Indy 500 pace car.
However, lots of state agencies as well as national organizations are not so interested in whether or not Helio Castroneves will win the race this year as they are concerned that people may be seriously injured or killed in car crashes on state and local roads this Memorial Day Weekend.
From Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council issued a warning today about the cruel reality that some people are going to die this weekend, based upon past statistics.  The NSC data predicts there will be 407 traffic deaths and 43,500 serious personal injuries to motor vehicle accidents in the short time from of the holiday, beginning this Friday at six o’clock in the afternoon to the following Monday at midnight.
“NSC issues fatality estimates for major holiday periods to draw attention to the need for drivers to exercise safe driving practices, especially when a significant number of drivers are expected to be traveling on our roadways and highways,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO.
Their predictions also include 148 people who may be in a crash, but who will not die from their injuries because of wearing a seat belt.  Dovetailing with that concern that people on the roads this weekend are extra-careful to wear their seat belts, both the State of Indiana and the State of Illinois are sponsoring “Click It or Ticket” campaigns this holiday.
Illinois Memorial Day Click It or Ticket Campaign Began May 13, 2013

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), both the troopers with the Illinois State Police along with 500+ police officers from local police departments are working together to target people who are violating Illinois seat belt laws. Of particular interest to them:  late-night traffic and those vehicles on the road in the late afternoon – both times that statistics show people are most likely to be unbuckled.

The Illinois Click It or Ticket campaigns have been extremely successful in getting people to buckle up, according to IDOT, meaning less people have died in Illinois from traffic accidents since the campaign first started in July 2003.

“Even with 9 out of 10 motorists buckling up in Illinois, far too many people are still dying unbuckled, especially during certain times of the day,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “IDOT, the Illinois State Police and hundreds of great local police and sheriff’s departments are saying today that this needs to change.”

“IDOT is utilizing federal safety dollars to assist Illinois law enforcement to provide more seat belt enforcement. They’ll be out there during rush hour, during the morning commute and during those late night hours when the most unbuckled fatalities occur. If you’re caught unbuckled or driving drunk, you’ll be given a ticket or arrested. It is not about money; it’s not about tickets. It’s about saving lives,” Schneider added.

Indiana Memorial Day Click It or Ticket Campaign Began May 17, 2013

According to Indiana statistics, 274 people died in the State of Indiana last year because they failed to buckle up and another 3,450 crashes happened where either the driver or an occupant was not wearing a seat belt.  These crashes were severe enough that 1,197 people were actually ejected from the vehicle in which they were riding because they failed to buckle up.
Stay Safe This Memorial Day 2013 – And Remember, Other People May Not Be As Vigilant as You Are: Watch Out for the Other Guy
There will be car crashes and motor vehicle accidents in Indiana and Illinois this weekend, sadly, because even though you can prepare yourself for a safe weekend by following laws like buckling up your seat belt, there are others in the “holiday” frame of mind who may not be so responsible.  People will be drinking and partying this weekend.  Distracted drivers will be eating food, talking on their phones, or texting their friends regardless of warnings or legislation.
The best you can do is protect yourself and in the event of an accident, protect you and your loved ones with medical care and legal representation, if need be.  Be safe this weekend.
  • Refrain from all cell phone use – both hands-free and handheld – behind the wheel
  • Always remember to wear your seat belt and place children in age-appropriate safety seats
  • Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed
  • Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during inclement weather
  • Avoid driving while drowsy
  • Don’t drink and drive – even moderate consumption of alcohol impairs reaction time and driving judgment

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