The Illinois Department of Transportation reported more highway fatalities this year than last. (Photo By Flickr user Cyclelicious)
By Jim Anderson
CHICAGO - Illinois will have more deaths on the roads this year than last.
As of this last day of the year, there have been 946 highway fatalities in Illinois for the year, which is 28 more than last year’s total of 918. That’s not the direction the Illinois Department of Transportation wants to see the numbers heading, says spokesman Mike Claffey.
“We want to see the numbers heading downward, as opposed to heading up, so there’s cause for concern, and we’re trying to do everything we can to raise awareness, as well as work with cops to arrest people who are out there drinking and driving,” he said.
Claffey says texting while driving is a hazard too.
This will be the fourth year in a row that Illinois is under 1,000 in traffic fatalities. The number was over 1,000 every year from 1922-2008, and was over 2,000 every year from 1963 through 1979.
Credited for the decline are seat belts, safer cars, safer roads and drunk driving being taken seriously.