Save a life: Don't speed on Illinois roads

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois State Police and other transportation officials hope by being proactive and bringing attention to the dangers of speeding, they'll save more lives on the roads.

The message is clear: speed kills. On this Illinois Speed Awareness Day, troopers are out in full force on expressways, state routes and rural areas, looking for drivers who are not following the speed limit.

"Everyone has places to go. It's never the right decision to put ourselves, our families and others in harm's way to get there," Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said.

"For the second year in a row, we have over 1,000 deaths on our roadways. These deaths are preventable. They're not accidents. They're preventable by obeying the speed limit, by driving sober, by properly buckling up. We can solve this problem together," Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said.

Last year, 1,084 people were killed on Illinois roadways. In 2016, speed was to blame for more than 32 percent of all crashes and more than 34 percent of all deadly crashes.

Families Against Chronic Excessive Speed 4 Project Director Dee Brant lost her 15-year-old son Matthew in 2004, when he was hit by a speeding driver less than a mile from his home.

"Even though Matthew was only 15-years-old, he had hopes and dreams and goals for himself. A life that was cut short due to a choice that someone made to be speeding on the road that night," Brant said.

In fact, the chances of severe injury or death double for every 10 miles per hour over 50 miles per hour. It takes longer to stop a speeding vehicle in emergency situations.

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti read the Speed Awareness Day proclamation, ending with an old Spanish saying: "It's better to lose one minute of your life than to lose your life in one minute."

There are so many negative consequences to speeding. It also affects your car. Speeding can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway.

Slow down and stay safe, Illinois drivers.
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