Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 and area law enforcement officials within the district’s three jurisdictional counties (Kankakee, Iroquois, and Ford Counties) announced plans aimed at increasing seat belt compliance within all three counties.  The collaborative effort was implemented following a recent spike in fatal crashes involving unrestrained motorists. 
The three counties ISP District 21 is responsible for has experienced a significant increase in the number of fatalities resulting from crashes in 2018.  Since the beginning of the year, there has been a total of 12 fatal crashes throughout District 21, and in 77% of the crashes, the fatalities involved a motorist who was not wearing a seatbelt. 
“Seat belts can help save lives, but they have to be put on in order for them to be effective,” said ISP District 21 Captain Don Aaron Harsy.  “District 21 Troopers and our law enforcement partners in the community will target violators who choose to break the law by not practicing safe traveling habits,” added Captain Harsy.      
To combat this concerning rise in serious and fatal crashes, District 21 Troopers and area law enforcement officers have increased enforcement patrols throughout the three counties.  District 21 Troopers will be strictly enforcing FATAL-4 moving violations which include: DUI, Speeding, Distracted Driving, and Seat Belt, with an increased emphasis on seat belt compliance.  
“I encourage the motoring public to do their part by practicing good safety habits each and every time they travel,” said Ford County Sheriff Mark R. Doran.  “Ford County Sheriff’s officers, along with our ISP partners, will remain vigilant in our efforts to save lives,” added Sheriff Doran. 
Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey advises all motorists to please buckle up their seatbelts and make sure everyone in their vehicle does the same.  “We have witnessed too many avoidable tragedies because a person was not using a seat belt,” said Sheriff Downey.  “A couple seconds of your time could prevent you from becoming a fatality.  If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the people you love,” added Sheriff Downey. 
One of the goals of the Illinois State Police is to: "Improve the quality of life for our citizens through unimpeachable integrity, public service, training and education."  The ISP will continue to work within the community to further reduce road fatalities though educational programs that bring awareness about the major fatality contributing factors.  The public is encouraged to visit the ISP’s website at www.isp.state.il.us for more information about its safety education programs.

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