The Illinois State Police have announced that the special traffic enforcement patrols they began on May 13 will continue until the Memorial Day weekend. The patrols are taking place in Kane, DeKalb, Lake, McHenry, DuPage and Cook counties. The initiative was originally announced in a May 10 press release. Funds for the project are being provided by the Division of Traffic Safety of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of road users killed or injured in Chicago and its suburbs. Officers will focus their attention primarily on motorists who speed or fail to fasten their safety belts. The law enforcement action is being backed up by a public awareness campaign that is designed to drive home the possible consequences of flouting Illinois traffic laws.

Police are particularly concerned about speeding. Accident data reveals that about a third of all fatal car accidents in the United States involve one or more vehicles traveling at a speed in excess of the posted limit. The figure in Illinois is higher than 40 percent. Police are particularly concerned about seat belt use among rear seat passengers. A 2015 study conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation found that about 15 percent of rear seat passengers in the state do not fasten their safety belts.

While traffic violations and minor misdemeanors may not be as serious as felony charges, police officers are still required to conduct themselves within boundaries established by the U.S. Constitution. Law enforcement officers are not permitted to pull motorists over unless they have probable cause to believe that an offense has been or is being committed, and criminal defense attorneys may choose to combat these types of charges when probable cause is either questionable or lacking.

Source: WQAD News, Illinois counties have extra traffic enforcement now through Memorial Day weekend, Sarah Tisinger, May 13, 2016