Full Force Out For Labor Day;Traffic Deaths On Rise
By: Diane Turner-Hurns
Journal & Topics Reporter
Since Aug. 24, the Rosemont Public Safety Department has been out in full force on local roads and will continue additional patrols through the end of Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, as part of the national crackdown on drunk driving.
Called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, the high visibility campaign aims to catch drunk and drugged drivers, pull them from the road and prevent roadway crashes and injuries, which are trending upward for the first time since 2007.
Rosemont Police Cmdr. Gregory Nazuka said law enforcement partners nationwide and in Illinois have zero tolerance for drunk driving.
“The number of people who are still drinking and driving is unacceptable,” Nazuka said. “All it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. And remember, a seatbelt is your best defense in a crash.”
The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
According to the Itasca-based National Safety Council (NSC), roadway crash fatalities were up 14% nationally in the first six months of 2015 and injuries were up by a third.
NSC President Deborah A.P. Hersman said nearly 19,000 people across the country lost their lives in traffic crashes through June. This number does not include two of the historically highest months for traffic deaths, July and August. The NSC is a nonprofit organization created by Congress in 1913 to promote safety.
If the trend continues, NSC officials said traffic deaths in 2015 could exceed 40,000 for the first time since 2007 when there were nearly 44,000.