Champaign Police to Enforce Seat Belt Safety and Impaired Driving Laws During Thanksgiving

Police and safety officials in Champaign are reminding residents to fasten their seat belts and drive sober over the Thanksgiving holiday or run the risk of receiving a ticket.

The Champaign Police Department (CPD) is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt and impaired driving laws.

“Whether you’re going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, please make sure everyone in the car is wearing their seat belt. As of January 1, 2012, by law in Illinois, everyone must wear a seat belt no matter what seating position,” said Sgt. Joe Ketchem. “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seat belt and arrest those choosing to drive impaired.”

IDOT is proud that Illinois has a 93.7 percent daytime seat belt usage rate. However, far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up – especially late at night. In Illinois, during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday, nine vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes- three of those deaths involved a drinking driver and over 700 individuals were injured. Remember – wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver.

“Our goal is to save more lives, so Champaign Police will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock,” said Sgt. Joe Ketchem “Additional enforcement will take place late at night when belt use is at its lowest and impaired driving is the biggest problem.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011. Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. You will save the cost of a ticket and may save a life.

For more information about the “Click It or Ticket” and the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns, please visit