The Memorial Day seat belt enforcement campaign is under way. Few in Illinois fail to wear seat belts – only 6½ percent don’t comply, according to IDOT surveys – but there are consequences for those who don’t, detailed through tears by Melissa Ledezma of East Moline, whose 16-year-old son Tyler was killed in a one-vehicle crash in Rock Island in 2010.
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“My son wasn’t on the phone, he wasn’t texting or messing with his radio. He was an inexperienced driver on a gravel road. He lost control and tried to over-correct. He was thrown from his car, and never made it to the hospital,” she said at a news conference in Chicago. Ledezma believes that her son, travelling at only 30 mph, according to police, would have survived had he been wearing a seat belt. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, half the people who died in car crashes last year in Illinois weren’t wearing seat belts.
State police and 500 local departments will have special enforcement details now through Memorial Day to sniff out seat belt scofflaws, as well as speeders, distracted drivers and drunk drivers.