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Local law enforcement focuses on road safety in anticipation of Fourth of July weekend

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - As the Fourth of July approaches, local law enforcement lays out its plan to keep you safe.

"We want people to have fun, we want you to have a great time, but have a designated driver," said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 40 percent of all vehicle accidents over the Fourth of July holiday are due to driving under the influence.

By offering the Designated Driver program, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office focuses on prevention.

"Enjoy yourself, but watch all those pinch points that could put you in that situation and before you know it, you are in an accident, a fatal accident with you or somebody that you love, inside your vehicle or with somebody outside your vehicle,"

"We need the public to buy in. We don't have enough police officers in the world to make sure that one person doesn't get through and that one person doesn't drive impaired and get in a crash and kill someone," said Captain Carl Heintz, Illinois State Police District 16.

Illinois State Police District 16 Captain Carl Heintz says the holiday weekend can be a breeding ground for what law enforcement calls the “Fatal Four:” impaired driving, excessive speeding, texting and unbuckled riders.

"Our troopers will be out there, we're going to be very visible this weekend. We're going to be there if you need help. We're also going to be there if someone breaks a law. We need everyone to do their part to take the responsibility and to take this very, very seriously," said Capt. Heintz.

While both departments say there won’t be designated checkpoints to screen for impaired drivers like in previous years, officers will be out in full force to keep the roads safe.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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