There's very good traffic news here in Illinois. Fatal accidents like this one are becoming rarer in the state.
It may be because cars are safer thanks to air bags, anti-lock brakes, and other protections; more motorists are using seatbelts, and perhaps because they are driving less with gasoline so expensive.
Whatever the reason, here are the life-saving numbers:
In 1990, 1,807 victims died in traffic accidents. Five years later, the toll dipped to 1,766. By 2000 it was down again, to 1,478.
The decline continued, and in 2008, the toll was only 1,043. And, in the past two years, the number of traffic deaths dropped below 1,000. It's the first time in 90 years, since 1921, that the toll was less than a thousand in consecutive years.
Our guest, Secretary of State Jesse White, plays a major role in traffic safety. White, a Democrat, is serving his fourth term. He's considered one of the state's most popular officials. He received more than 2.5 million votes in his re-election last year. That's more than any state official in more than 30 years.