Police cracking down on seatbelt violations, impaired drivers during Memorial Day

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There will be extra officers out on the roads for the last half of May, particularly around Memorial Day weekend.

Illinois

Law enforcement all over Illinois will be out watching for seatbelt violations and impaired drivers, according to a statement from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department.  Officers will be out “day and night” through May 30, 2016.

Any drivers who aren’t wearing their seatbelts can expect tickets, and any drivers caught under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be arrested, according to the statement.

“Unbuckled motorists continue to lose their lives on Illinois roadways,” said Sheriff Gerald Bustos. “We want motorists and passengers to buckle up this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer – it could be the difference between life and death.”

During Memorial Day weekend in 2015, there were 13 fatalities; three of them were alcohol related, according to police.

Remember, in Illinois, everyone in the car must be buckled up, police said. Also, children have to be in a car seat or booster seat until they are eight years old. Any kids younger than 13 should be in the back seat.

Iowa

Officers in Iowa will also be on the lookout for seatbelt violators between May 23 and June 6. The Iowa Department of Public Safety said that enforcement will be particularly strong between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Even with Iowa’s seatbelt compliance being one of the best in the country, “still, too many of the state’s traffic fatalities are unbelted,” said IDPS.  The compliance rate in Iowa is 93%.

“Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belt,” said Pat Hoye, Chief of the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.  “Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash.”

In Iowa everyone in the front seat has to wear a seatbelt, according to Iowa Code. Passengers in the backseat are required to wear a seatbelt if they are under 18. Kids up to age 11 must be secured by a child restraint system or a safety belt.