Illinois Tollway Hosts IDOT and Law Enforcement Agencies to Remind Drivers to Slow Down
Excessive speeding remains a serious issue on Illinois roadways and across the country. That’s why the Illinois Tollway joined with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and other state law enforcement agencies to promote Speed Awareness Day.
Interim Tollway Executive Director Lanyea Griffin urged drivers to slow down, especially in work zones as major construction is ongoing across the Illinois Tollway system. She cautioned that speeding not only endangers the lives of drivers and other motorists, but is also a threat to the safety of those who work on the roadways – construction and maintenance workers, as well as the Illinois State Police District 15 troopers who are responsible for enforcing traffic laws on the Tollway.
The annual Speed Awareness Day campaign brings together public and private stakeholders to address the dangers of excessive speeding and the deadly impact speeding has on traffic safety.
The event is coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and held in the summer months to highlight that most fatal crashes where speed is a contributing factor occur between June and September. The campaign involves law enforcement from the six states that make up Region 5 of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
National trends indicate that more drivers are disregarding speed limits and surrounding traffic conditions since the Covid-19 pandemic started. The result is not only more crashes, but also more severe crashes with more injuries and fatalities across the country and in Illinois.
Speeding is the nation’s leading cause of fatal crashes, accounting for about one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. Nationwide, nearly 43,000 people lost their lives in car crashes last year, up 10.5% from nearly 39,000 fatalities in 2020, according to projections from the NHTSA. It’s the highest number of fatal crashes since 2005 and highest annual percentage increase since the NHTSA started collecting such data in 1979.
In Illinois, fatal crashes increased nearly 14% in 2021, up to an estimated 1,357 from 1,194 in 2020, according to the NHTSA.