Good news was issued from the Illinois Department of Transportation this week. The first half of 2010 shows a decrease in Illinois highway fatalities, which includes the Chicagoland area. The overall number of fatalities on Illinois roads is down by 16.8 percent on a provisional basis for the first six months of 2010; from 434 in 2009, to 361 in 2010.
One of the reasons for these numbers is an increased rate of seat belt compliance so far in 2010. Since July of 2003, safety belt use in Illinois has gone up 16.4 percentage points, from 76.2 percent in 2003 to 92.6 percent in the statewide survey, just completed by IDOT’s Traffic Safety Division. Prior to enactment of the primary enforcement law, police could not pull a driver over based solely on a safety belt violation.
“During the past six years we have seen the statewide compliance usage rate climb to a remarkable 92.6 percent,” said IDOT’s Traffic Safety Director Michael Stout. “This incredible milestone would not have been possible without the hundreds of dedicated IDOT staff and partners throughout the state working tirelessly to make our highways safer. We believe the decrease in Illinois fatalities is a direct result of the increase in safety belt usage. We look forward to helping this number increase in our effort to save lives.”
For more information on the recent safety belt usage rate refer to www.dot.il.gov/trafficsafety/tsevaluation.html. To view a short video exemplifying why some Illinois residents are making the choice to buckle up, please visit IDOT’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2gDyuyaeWk.
This is an exciting trend in Illinois. It will be interesting to see if these numbers stay consistent through the summer months, which we all know are the busiest travel months.
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