Evanston police enact safety measures for Memorial Day weekend

Julian Gerez and Sophia Bollag

The Evanston Police Department will be conducting several campaigns in order to ensure citizen safety over Memorial Day weekend.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” traffic enforcement campaign seeks to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities during major holidays when impaired driving fatalities tend to be higher, according to the EPD’s website.

“The whole idea is to deter people from drinking and driving,” Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said.

As a part of this campaign, the EPD will be conducting a roadside safety checkpoint in the 1400 block of Chicago Avenue from Saturday night to Sunday.

The campaign is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while intoxicated or distracted. Traffic Bureau Sgt. Tracy Williams said he hopes awareness of the increased police force will deter people from drinking and driving.

“The police are going to be out in force,” Williams said. “So it hopefully makes people think twice before committing traffic violations.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation provided the funding for the increased police force over the weekend. IDOT also provides funding for efforts to deter drunk driving over other holiday weekends, including New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July, Williams said.

Additionally, IDOT will suspend non-emergency road construction in order to improve traffic flow during the weekend. Bridge Street from McCormick Boulevard to Brown Street in Evanston is among the locations where permanent lane closures will remain in place, according the IDOT website. Eastbound Bridge Street will be completely closed to traffic.

On May 9, the EPD started this year’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign in collaboration with two state organizations and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies to more strongly enforce seat belt laws.

(EPD starts campaign to more strongly enforce seat belt laws)

Last year, there were three fatalities and more than 600 injuries on Illinois roadways during Memorial Day weekend, police said.

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Twitter: @SophiaBollag

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @JGerez_news