Safe travel over the Independence Day holiday
Wed, 03 Jul 2013 15:58:34 GMT —
State troopers across the Tri-States will hit the roads this Fourth of July holiday hoping to spot the fatal four before they become a reality.
It's one of the heaviest traveled weekends of the year, meaning an increase in speeders, a lack of seat belts, distracted drivers and DUI's which continues to be a problem in Illinois.
"At this point, we're still seeing that drunk driving. Around 40 to 46 percent of all of our fatalities are alcohol related. But what we're seeing is, not everything is being reported, as far as the distracted driving. But we know that distracted driving is the number one epidemic in the nation. And we realize it's not just the texting and the cell phones. It's just being distracted and not focusing on the task at hand," Trooper Mike Kindhart with the Illinois State Police said.
Police will increase patrols along the interstates between July 3rd and 7th ... the peak travel days for the holiday.
Last year, fatalities occurred on both sides of the river during the fourth of July, including 4 deaths on Missouri highways.
"So far this year, our fatalities are fewer than they were this time last year, by 23 percent. But we're seeing that 55 percent of the fatalities that we've already experienced this year, those people were not wearing a seat belt. So we want to encourage people to buckle up, make sure they're ready for their trip and pay attention when they're driving," Sgt. Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.
Before you travel across state lines, it's important to know the laws of the road.
Many states have different rules on cell phones, texting and electronic devices on the dash.