Orland Park Police Increase DUI and Seat Belt Patrols over Thanksgiving Weekend

Orland Park Police Increase DUI and Seat Belt Patrols over Thanksgiving Weekend
Posted on 11/22/2017

This Thanksgiving weekend, Orland Park Police Department joins the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police to ensure motorists drive safely and buckle up. Orland Park Police will increase their DUI and seat belt enforcement starting on Friday, Nov. 17 and going until Monday, Nov. 27.

"It is well known that Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. More cars on the road present the potential for more crashes,' said Trustee Dan Calandriello, chair of the village's public safety committee. "Our police will be doing all they can to keep motorists safe and reminded to always buckle up.'

The goal of the high-visibility effort is to reduce motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities. Correct seat belt use is the most effective way to protect vehicle occupants. According to IDOT, the statewide seat belt usage rate is at 93.8 percent.

"During the holiday weekends and throughout the year, motorists can expect to be ticketed if they are not wearing their safety belt or driving impaired or distracted,' said Police Chief Tim McCarthy. "If you're traveling with children, they are required to ride in a car seat or booster seat until at least eight years of age.'

Most roadway deaths are completely preventable. Excessive speed, driving drunk or under the influence of drugs and not wearing seat belts pose a danger to your life.

In 2016, 11 people died on Illinois roads during the long holiday weekend from 6 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to 5:59 a.m. the following Monday. Many of those fatalities could have been prevented with the click of a seat belt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's research indicates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to severe injury by 50 percent.

"Whether you're traveling across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, wear your seat belt. It's one of the easiest ways to ensure you arrive safely,' McCarthy said.

Orland Park Police also encourage residents to be extra vigilant and alert when shopping during the busy holiday season.

Holiday shopping tips:

- Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.

- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.

- Don't overburden yourself with packages.

- Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.

"We encourage residents to follow these tips and to be mindful of belongings when heading out for a day of shopping,' said Chief McCarthy.