Some things are guaranteed on Thanksgiving week – turkey, family, football and shopping.



Add to that list the Illinois State Police’s annual plea for holiday travelers to buckle up and drive safely.

Some things are guaranteed on Thanksgiving week – turkey, family, football and shopping.

Add to that list the Illinois State Police’s annual plea for holiday travelers to buckle up and drive safely.

Troopers this weekend will use a “zero-tolerance” approach to drivers who are not buckled up and will conduct Click It or Ticket details from Nov. 16 through Dec. 2.

They also will set up Combined Accident Reduction Effort details, which focus on seat belt enforcement, speed reduction, impaired driving and underage drinking in an effort to reduce fatalities and crashes on Illinois highways.

In addition, the state police will continue their “Stay Alive on the I’s” enforcement, during which troopers will be stationed every 10 miles along interstate corridors from noon through 10 p.m. Wednesday and from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday.

Those are the heaviest travel times during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Capt. James Wolf, commander of District 9 state police in Springfield, said it’s difficult to say if the saturation campaign, which was started earlier this year, has been successful because you can’t quantify saved lives.

“If you save one life, it is successful. You don’t want to put a specific number on it. If you reduce fatalities, if we reduce the number of crashes on the interstate, it’s successful,” he said.

“There are going to be a lot of people out there driving, so our hope is they see us out there on the interstate, adjust their driving behavior, slow down, buckle up, don’t drive impaired, and hopefully through our aggressive enforcement we’ll keep people safe.”

During the five-day Thanksgiving weekend last year, District 9 troopers handled 30 accidents, of which 11 were on interstate highways. Statewide, 20 motorists died in crashes during the same timeframe.



Jayette Bolinski can be reached at 788-1530 or jayette.bolinski@sj-r.com.