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A safe Labor Day weekend

IDOT and ISP will have a zero tolerance approach

Published: Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 2:47 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 6:18 p.m. CST

State and local officials are working together to promote safe traveling this Labor Day weekend.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) have partnered to announce a zero tolerance approach for drunk and drug-impaired driving as part of this weekend‘s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

In one action, the ISP will increase patrol work this weekend in an effort to keep motor vehicle fatalities as low as possible through what can be a very dangerous holiday on Illinois roads, Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren said Thursday.

“While we are encouraged that seat belt usage is up and motor vehicle fatalities are down so far this year, we can never be complacent about safety,” Borggren said. “Any death on Illinois roadways is one too many, particularly when using seat belts and driving sober could have prevented it.”

Also, running through Tuesday, the ISP will be on high alert to enforce what the agency has deemed the four most common traffic violations: Speeding, DUI, seat belts and distracted driving. Troopers will also be on heightened alert monitoring intelligence from the Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center for suspicious vehicles, special alerts and any criminal activity crossing state lines.

To help promote safe driving this weekend, IDOT has announced it will suspend all non-emergency roadwork for the holiday weekend through Monday. All lanes will be opened where possible, depending on the project.

Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson said he is not anticipating increasing the department’s services for Labor Day unless there is a need, which he would personally evaluate and determine. Right now, there are adequate personnel on duty to provide for the safety of the community, he said.

Fortunately, there has been a dramatic increase locally during recent years in the public’s awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, Thompson said. Bureau County residents are increasingly aware that if they are attending a party or gathering and they choose to drink alcohol, they should have someone else do the driving.

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