Be alert for roadside safety checks in Will County in February

An Illinois State Police squad car is pictured in a file photo. This week the agency agreed to hold more public hearings on its assault weapon registration process, although the existing emergency rules governing the process will remain in effect.

Illinois — Illinois State Police Troop 3 has announced that the department will be conducting roadside safety checks throughout Will, Cook, DuPage and Kane counties during the month of February.

In a series of statements from state police, Troop 3 Cmdr. Capt. Pat Manno said the checks “combine a strong sense of public awareness and enforcement in order to save lives of the motoring public.”

Officers working the detail will be looking for people driving in an unsafe manner, including those driving under the influence, not using seat belts or proper child safety restraints, carrying open alcoholic beverages, speeding, driving on revoked or suspended licenses, distracted driving – including the improper use of cellphones while driving – and other road safety violations, according to a news release.

Many of these checks will be conducted as part of nighttime enforcement patrols between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the release.

According to state police, alcohol and drug impairment are factors in more than 30% of all fatal vehicle crashes in Illinois and kill almost 10,000 people each year in the U.S., with about one alcohol-related traffic fatality occurring every 53 minutes nationwide.

Additionally, state police reported that the number of unrestrained drivers killed in traffic crashes goes up significantly at night, which also is when more than half of all impaired driving crashes take place.

Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers in the front and back seats to be buckled at all times. The announcement calls safety belts “one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles, estimated to save nearly 14,000 lives each year,” while noting that half of all vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were not properly buckled up.

The program and additional checks are funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.