The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is continuing its Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) by participating in an increased enforcement effort this St. Patrick’s Day. Beginning today and concluding March 20, the PCSO will intensify enforcement to combat late-night impaired driving in an effort to reduce the disproportionate number of traffic deaths that occur during overnight hours. According to recent data, midnight to 3:00 a.m. is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways, with more people driving under the influence and fewer people using their safety belts.
Financed through a Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office was able to increase traffic safety enforcement – namely impaired driving – during its St. Patrick’s Day campaign. The Sheriff’s Office was awarded $7,659.45 from the State’s Division of Traffic Safety to be used for these enhanced safety restraint and impaired driving enforcement efforts throughout the year.
The purpose of STEP is to lower the incidence of motor vehicle crashes – and their resulting injuries and fatalities – through increased highly visible enforcement of safety belt use and impaired driving during national and state enforcement campaigns. The stepped-up, year-long traffic enforcement focuses on specific times of year and on specific times of day when data shows impaired driving and unbuckled fatalities are highest. The increased patrol presence deters potential impaired drivers and potential unbuckled drivers. Through the STEP campaign, increased traffic enforcement has a positive impact on reducing serious injuries and fatalities on our roads.
The law enforcement crackdown runs concurrently with a media campaign that will remind motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.” For more information on the STEP grant, please call the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office at 697-8515.