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Wilmette Police Arrest Four in Thanksgiving ‘Drive to Survive’ Campaign

There were 63 percent fewer motor vehicle crash fatalities reported statewide during the holiday weekend.

Wilmette police say they arrested four drivers during the department’s two-week-long Thanksgiving traffic enforcement step up.

The village also “experienced a 9 percent decrease in the total number of traffic crashes” during the two-week period compared to the same time frame a year earlier, according to a police press release.

Police arrested one person for driving under the influence, two for “zero tolerance” (underage drivers with alcohol in their system) and one for driving on a suspended license. They also issued 50 traffic citations and 17 warnings.

The “Thanksgiving mobilization”, which lasted from Nov. 12 through Nov. 25, was the first of six statewide traffic enforcement operations in which the Wilmette police will participate between now and the end of September 2013. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) campaign aims to lower traffic crashes and fatalities throughout the state by targeting speeders, drunken drivers and those not wearing seat belts during the days surrounding holidays that typically involve higher rates of alcohol consumption.

This year’s Thanksgiving weekend saw a 63 percent decline in motor vehicle crash fatalities compared to 2011, said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, according to a Wilmette police press release.

“Provisional data from Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) crash information unit reported three motor vehicle fatalities and two crashes during the four-day holiday weekend,” the press release read, “compared to eight fatalities and seven crashes during the same time period in 2011.”

The IDOT grant allowed the Wilmette Police Department to pay to conduct eight “saturation patrols”, totaling 48 hours, during the Thanksgiving step up. All patrols took placed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The department’s next campaign will run from Dec. 17 through Jan 1.

Wilmette police will also participated in mandatory St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day traffic enforcement campaigns in 2013. IDOT’s option campaigns include Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo.

For more information on the Illinois Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit www.buckleupillinois.org.

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