On November 26, 2012, Illinois State Trooper Kyle Deatherage was doing his job. He was in the process of conducting a traffic stop when he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle. In remembrance of this tragic accident, Illinois law enforcement personnel are conducting 24 consecutive hours of patrols seeking impaired drivers. The program, known as Operation Kyle, kicks off a larger program of enhanced patrolling that is intended to cover the holiday season. From today until the New Year, Illinois State Troopers as well as local officers and sheriffs will be focusing increased efforts on stopping drivers who are suspected of distracted driving, seatbelt violations, speeding or driving under the influence.
The Thanksgiving holiday leads to a massive increase in traffic volume. Millions of people hit the roads as they travel to holiday destinations. Many of those trips cover hundreds of miles. The result is an increase in incidents involving negligent driving practices. Long trips may entice drivers to engage in unsafe activities such as speeding or texting. Officials involved in Operation Kyle took the opportunity to remind Illinois drivers that the fine for texting while driving has been increased and is now $120.
The holidays are also a time when DUI arrests become more common. Holiday celebrations are often accompanied by alcohol. Drivers are encouraged to abstain from drinking or find alternate means of transportation to avoid the potential of an alcohol-related crash.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Operation Kyle: Illinois State Police honor fallen trooper with 24-hour patrols statewide,” 25 November 2013