Car crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of five and 24, a frightening statistic, but what's even more frightening is the number of people who don't comply with traffic laws.
"Winnebago County has a high instance of accidents, so we're able to secure funding through the Integrated Mini-Grant Enforcement Program (IMAGE) to conduct roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement, to try and reduce crashes," says Deputy Chief Kurt Ditzler.
The more than $22,000 provided by the IMAGE grant will be used to pay overtime costs associated with additional patrols during the next two weeks.
"We'll be concentrating on seat belt use, child restraint use as well as impaired driving, concentrate on areas with high rate of accidents," says Ditzler.
Law enforcement representatives around the county are hoping that safety checks and strict enforcement will educate the community, driving home the ultimate goal of voluntary compliance among drivers.
"Our hope is to keep somebody's holiday positive, rather than have it end tragically," says Ditzler.
Law enforcement leaders want us all to remember something vital; this Thanksgiving enforcement period there will be zero tolerance for safety belt and child restraint violations, no exceptions, no excuses.
On Monday, law enforcement officials conducted a seat belt enforcement zone of East State Street and Perryville Road.
During the two-hour check, 82 tickets were handed out. Of those, 59 were for seat belt violations and two were for child restraint violations.