2011 was another exceptional
year for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s
Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/DTS).
Occupant protection and
impaired driving programs raised driver safety awareness
with campaigns like “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) and “Drive
Sober or Get Pulled Over” (DSGPO). CIOT and DSGPO played a
major role in maintaining the under 1,000 fatality standard.
Safety belt usage rose to 92.9 percent and because of the
decrease in alcohol-related fatalities, Illinois was again
designated as a low fatality rate state by the US Department
While occupant protection and
impaired driving initiatives are important for IDOT/DTS,
increased emphasis on motorcycle awareness and work-zone
safety programs also contributed to a continuing decline in
injuries and fatalities. Public service announcements and
outreach events created in 2011 put a bright spotlight on
the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” and “See Orange. Slow Down.
Save Lives.” campaigns.
The commercial vehicle safety
unit also experienced substantial accomplishments in 2011.
Improved commercial vehicle data reporting reflected the
efficiency of vehicle inspections, compliance reviews and
safety audits. Illinois went from 178 fatal crashes
involving large trucks in 1999, down to 85 fatal crashes in
2009 for a decrease of 52.3 percent. Illinois’ rate of
decrease of fatal crashes is the second in the country when
looking at data spanning 1999 through 2009 and the trend has
continued through 2011.
More emphasis was placed on
bicycle safety due to a rise in “dooring” incidents. Dooring
occurs when bicyclists collide with the open door of a
parked vehicle. In response to this problem, IDOT/DTS has
developed an online report to track dooring occurrences.
Data is currently available for 2010 to present.
significant achievements in 2011, and goals have been set
higher for 2012. Impaired driving and less usage of safety
belts are still common late at night especially among young
male drivers. Greater emphasis will be placed on encouraging
nighttime drivers to buckle up and designate a sober driver.
Also, methods of addressing the distracted driving problem,
the texting and driving ban and a new law in 2012, requiring
everyone in the vehicle to buckle up, will be integrated
into all safety programs.
IDOT/DTS will work throughout
the year continually improving safety programs to try to
make 2012 the safest year on Illinois roadways in history.
Do your part. Drive safely in