DANVILLE — Police are reminding motorists to fasten their seat belts over the Thanksgiving holiday or risk receiving a ticket.
"Whether you're going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, please make sure you and everyone riding with you are wearing their seat belts," Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said in a news release. "You may be enjoying the holiday. But rest assured that police will still be out in force, as part of this year's Click It or Ticket campaign, making sure that road trips are as safe as possible."
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois has a 93.6 percent daytime safety belt usage rate. However, officials said far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up.
In Illinois, during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2011, eight people died and more than 800 people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Four of the deaths involved a driver that had consumed alcohol.
"Fastening a seat belt takes only a second or two and costs you nothing," Thomason said. "Not wearing a seat belt, especially during this Thanksgiving period, will definitely cost you a ticket at the very least, or even worse, your life."
Seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
For more information about the Click It or Ticket and the Drive Sober and Get Pulled Over campaigns, go to http://www.buckleupillinois.org .