SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are teaming with up more than 160 law enforcement agencies throughout the state in the national “Border to Border” mobilization, sending a unified message that riding or driving without a seat belt will not be tolerated. Increased patrols and seat belt enforcement zones will be along major interstates, state border crossings and hundreds of well-traveled local roads starting this evening and extending through Memorial Day.

“Illinois State Police enforce seat belt and child restraint use year-round, said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz “Increased enforcement around Memorial Day serves as a reminder to motorists that we take traffic laws seriously.”

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With their counterparts in Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin, IDOT and ISP are enforcing seat belt laws through the national “Border to Border” effort, with a heightened presence between 4 and 8 p.m. tonight. Organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, the initiative is bringing together the power of 10,000 agencies across the nation to reinforce seat belt use as the most effective strategy to avoid injury or death if you are involved in a crash.

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“Illinois is experiencing an increase in deaths on our roads, as are our neighbors on every border,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn “We hope this joint effort encourages everyone who travels in Illinois to buckle up and play their part in creating a safe travel system for everyone.”

Keep these tips in mind when traveling this summer:

• Buckle up. Wearing a seat belt positions you in the vehicle safely, works with air bags to protect you and slows the body down to minimize injury.
• Sober up. Alcohol and drugs inhibit your ability to operate a vehicle. Do not use them and then get behind the wheel.
• Slow down. Speed drastically increases the risk of injury or death in a crash.
Phone down. Texting and talking on a cell phone is not only dangerous, it is illegal in Illinois.

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