The Evanston Police Department is warning motorists that it will be joining a statewide enforcement program during the Thanksgiving holiday season to issue tickets to motorists who fail to fasten their seatbelts as required by law.
Known popularly as “Click It or Ticket,” the goal of the program is to reduce motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities, according to EPD Sgt. Tracy Williams, supervisor of the Evanston Police Traffic Unit.
With the statewide seat-belt usage rate at 93.8 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, that’s a sign that wearing a seat belt is second nature for most, Williams says.
“We’re looking for the few Illinois motorists who skip this lifesaving step,” he adds.
Drivers and passengers can expect a ticket from the Evanston Police Department if they are spotted without a seat belt, he warns. Although the special enforcement initiative will be in effect from Nov. 17-27, motorists are subject to being ticketed for the offense at any time before or after those dates.
According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Williams says, among passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2016 daytime crashes, 41 percent were unrestrained. Nighttime crashes show a significantly higher number of unbelted occupant fatalities at 56 percent.
.“During Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the year,” Williams added, “motorists on our roads can expect to be ticketed if they are unbelted or driving impaired or distracted.”