ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Police Department reminds motorists of the dangers of impaired driving as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.

Though less people are expected to travel this year because of the pandemic, Illinois law enforcement officers will still be working around the clock to make sure those who are traveling are buckled up and driving safely. Through Nov. 30, additional officers will be assigned to DUI and seat belt enforcement.

The goal is simple: Prevent motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries. Correct seat-belt use is the most effective way to protect vehicle occupants in a crash, according to a news release from the St. Charles Police Department.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the statewide seat-belt usage rate is 95.2 percent, yet unbuckled occupants make up a disproportionately large number of fatalities, representing more than 50 percent of people killed in motor vehicle crashes.

“Wearing a seat belt and not driving intoxicated is obvious and adhered to by most,” St. Charles Police Department Commander Rich Clark said in the release. “During these difficult times in our world, we want to make sure everyone remains extra vigilant when it comes to making right decisions and preventing additional incidents on our roadways.”

Statistics show that nighttime driving comes with an increased risk for injury or death, according to the release. Evening hours account for a higher percentage of impaired driving crashes, a higher percentage of fatalities, and a lower percentage of occupants wearing seat belts.

The Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort is funded with federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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