Holiday Travel Safety

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Nearly 29 million Americans were expected to drive more than 50 miles from home this weekend. That's according to Triple A. Those numbers are down just a bit from last year. But Stateline roads were still packed with cars and state police this Labor Day weekend.
If you hit the roads this holiday weekend, you probably saw more than just family and friends.
"I did see a lot of state trooper activity out there," says Stateline driver Edmund Cruz.
But drivers whizzing along Illinois roads are divided over whether the increased presence is a plus or a minus.
"I think that we need the state troopers with this type of traffic. I think it's better for the safety of everyone," says Bill Soto.
Chris Izui counters, "There were four police cars all at the same time pulling cars over. People were almost coming to a stop. It was a gapers' delay. I think it was unsafe to have them pull over cars all at the same time."
But if you ask Illinois Trooper Daron Barge, safety is all that's on his mind. He pulled over six drivers in less than three hours Monday afternoon.
"It really is about their safety. Slow down, get to your destination, obey all traffic laws, you'll get there safely. Obviously it works because we've had a decrease of fatalities in the state," says Trooper Barge.
State troopers are on the lookout for what they call the fatal five: speeding, not wearing a seat belt, improper lane usage, following other cars too closely and driving drunk.
There were special enforcement teams on Route 20 and for the first time statewide, Illinois troopers were stationed every ten miles on all interstate highways all weekend.
Trooper Barge says, "When people see a police car, emergency lights, they tend to slow down, they tend to pay a little bit more attention to what's going on."
Troopers hope that extra attention will keep all Illinois drivers on the road to safety.
Since Friday August 31st, there were just four relatively minor accidents in our local state police district. Over the 2006 Labor Day weekend there were 271 crashes on Illinois interstates. Two proved fatal.
State police will release more information on state crashes and how many tickets were doled out this weekend, later in the week.
The increased trooper presence, known as the "Stay Alive on the I's" intitiative, wrapped up at 8:00 Monday night. But don't let that speed you up out on the roads.

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