IDOT, State Police Pushing Safety For New Year’s Holiday

State agencies encouraging drivers to celebrate responsibly this New Year's

It’s the most dangerous holiday of the year.

According to AAA, and analysis of NHTSA historical crash data, New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day is far and away the deadliest holiday of the year.

That’s why the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and over 300 law enforcement agencies across the state will be stepping up efforts to reduce traffic fatalities this New Year’s.

With just a few days left in 2012, state traffic fatalities are at 946 compared to 918 in 2011–a 3% increase.

These sobering numbers are another reason IDOT’s “Drive To Survive” campaign is ramping up for the holiday with more roadside safety checks, safety belt enforcement zones and generally heavier traffic patrols and enforcement by state, county and municipal police departments.

“Unfortunately, New Year’s on Illinois roadways is deadly and can be one of most dangerous times of the year because of drunk drivers,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “Driving a vehicle while intoxicated jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on our roadways. If you are going to drink, plan another way home before the celebration begins, and always buckle up in the front seat and back.”

IDOT crash data shows in the past five years over the New Year’s holiday there were 12,750 crashes, injuring 3,114 people and killing 42. Alcohol was involved 41% of the time.

During New Year’s 2011, nine people died and 502 were injured.

IDOT, AAA and nearly every other traffic safety organization is hammering home using common sense if you go out New Year’s Eve including using a designated driver or calling a cab to get you home safely.

Public transportation is always another option, and as usual the CTA is offering bus and train rides for a measly single penny on New Year’s Eve.

Happy’s New Year’s everyone.

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