SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and more than 200 law enforcement agencies throughout the state are joining together to remind motorists that the most important gift they can give to friends and family is their safe arrival. During this busy travel time, law enforcement will be increasing its lifesaving efforts to keep impaired drivers off the roads and make sure that all travelers buckled up.

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“The winter holidays are the perfect time to show your friends, family members, and communities how much you care,” said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “I can’t think of a better way to do that than by giving the gift of safety. Drive sober and make sure your loved ones do the same. When it comes to seat belts, check them twice for a safer ride. Everyone around you will be merry and bright when you show how much their safety means to you.”

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According to preliminary data, as of Dec. 16, there were 1,149 fatal crashes and 1,265 fatalities in Illinois in 2021. This represents an increase of 115 fatalities from the same period in 2020.

“Our troopers will remain steadfast in preventing crime and enforcing all laws to increase public safety and improve the quality of life for everyone in Illinois,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly. “We appreciate all of the law-abiding individuals who help us achieve our mission through safe driving and by reporting unsafe driving and criminal activity, so together we can enjoy a safe holiday season.”

Before you head over the river and through the woods to enjoy your holiday festivities, keep the following tips in mind:

  • If you’re under the influence of alcohol or another impairing substance, don’t drive.
  • If you think a driver is impaired, don’t get in the car. Instead, take their keys and help them get home safely.
  • If you are going to drink alcohol, use marijuana or take another impairing substance, plan ahead for a sober ride home. Options include your community’s sober ride program, a cab, public transportation or your favorite ride-sharing app.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, pull over and contact local law enforcement.

The enforcement campaign runs statewide through Jan. 3, funded with federal highway safety funds administered by IDOT.

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