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Speeding, seat belts focus of Illinois traffic enforcement initiative

Illinois State Police will be conducting special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, also known as the sTEP program. The sTEP project, funded by the Traffic Safety division of the Illinois Department of Transportation, focuses on several driving behaviors that are known to increase the risk of car crashes.

The Department has emphasized that they will crack down on speeding and failure to use proper restraints, such as child safety seats and seat belts. They will also be offering educational services to inform the public about important traffic laws in an effort to raise awareness and compliance.

Speeding is a factor in about 31 percent of fatal vehicle crashes nationwide. In Illinois it is an even bigger problem, causing 37 percent of traffic fatalities.

Illinois has a primary enforcement law requiring seat belts, which means that a trooper may conduct a traffic stop and issue a ticket if they see a driver or passengers not wearing their seat belt. Some states have secondary enforcement laws, which only allow officers to issue a seat belt citation if the driver has been pulled over for another offense.

According to the Illinois State Police, every hour someone in America dies because they are not wearing a safety belt. About half of all people killed in motor vehicle accidents are not properly restrained at the time of the crash.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a serious motor vehicle accident, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney to learn about any legal claims you may have.

Source: The Times, "State police sTEP up traffic enforcement," Nov. 1, 2012

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