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Local

Traffic enforcement period begins in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES – City police on Monday began a traffic safety campaign targeting impaired drivers and seat belt enforcement, according to the St. Charles Police Department.

The campaign runs through Jan. 1.

It aims to reduce the incidence of motor vehicle crashes, and the resulting injuries and fatalities, through increased highly visible enforcement of occupant restraint, impaired driving, speed and pedestrian safety.

In Illinois during the 2011 Christmas and New Year's holiday period, 22 vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes, and eight of those deaths involved a drunken driver. More than 1,000 individuals were injured. In St. Charles, officers made zero DUI arrests and issued 31 citations for other traffic violations.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use is the most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

The St. Charles Police Department wants all drivers to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and all vehicle occupants to "Click It or Ticket" all day and all night. Visit www.buckleupillinois.org for information about those programs.

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