"Serving with Pride"
|Palos Park Police
Department's Safety Information for Automobiles
to Safety Information
Palos Park Police want you to Be A Buckle
Be A Buckle Buddy! is a public service program featuring a toll-free,
statewide, hotline that allows any concerned individual to anonymously
report unbuckled children in Illinois.
Be A Buckle Buddy! is non-punitive. Reported drivers will receive an
informative packet filled with Safe Kids and child passenger safety
information, along with a copy of current Illinois child passenger
To report an unrestrained child in Illinois please call:
Palos Park Police Department Reminds Everyone to
Drive Safely This Holiday Season
Palos Park Police Commissioner Dan Polk reminds everyone that with the
holidays upon us, the Palos Park Police Department wants everyone to
arrive safely at their destinations. Polk said, “If you are planning to
travel by car to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and
friends, make sure you and everyone riding with you buckles their safety
belts or is secured in a proper child restraint. If you have been
drinking, designate a sober driver,”
“No one wants to start the holidays off wrong with a safety belt ticket
or a DUI arrest, save your money for turkey and buying presents for
loved ones – don’t throw it away simply because you failed to buckle up
or you were driving impaired,” Polk said
The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety
(IDOT/DTS) is proud that Illinois has a 92.6% daytime safety belt usage
rate. Nationally more people are buckling up; however, 45 million
Americans still fail to buckle up when they are in a motor vehicle.
In Illinois, during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2009, 12 vehicle
occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes and five of those deaths
involved a drinking driver. More than 800 were injured in similar
incidents. NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle
up are teens, young adults, males, nighttime riders, motorists traveling
on rural roads and individuals traveling in pickup trucks, especially
during the late night hours.
Data shows late-night hours are when the highest percentage of motorists
die in alcohol-involved crashes and the lowest percentage of vehicle
occupants are properly restrained. Wearing a safety belt costs you
nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket or worse…your life.
“We want all drivers and passengers to Click It or Ticket, day and
night—and remember, You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” Chief Joe Miller
Palos Park Police Department
Winter Driving Tips Don’t Crowd the Plow
The Village of Palos Park is reminding the motoring public that during
winter storms, snowplows work around the clock to make roads passable.
These large vehicles can present a hazard for drivers who follow too
closely. Observe these tips to stay safe while giving snowplow operators
room to do their jobs.
back from snowplows
Plow drivers can't see directly behind their trucks. Sometimes they must
stop or back up. Staying a safe distance behind a snowplow will protect
you from possible injury and protect your car from sanding material that
plows spread on slick roadways.
Know where the snowplow is on the
The plow could be in either lane, or on the shoulder. Watch for
snowplows on ramps and turnaround areas.
Never drive through a snow cloud or whiteout conditions
You can't be sure if such conditions are caused by crosswinds or by a
snowplow, so be patient. Village of Palos Park snowplow operators
periodically pull over to allow traffic to pass.
Distance: Give snowplows room to
work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Don’t
tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and
beware of the snow cloud.
Speed: Snowplows travel below the
posted speed limit. Be patient. Allow plenty of time to slow down.
Remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.
Vision: A snowplow operator’s
field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they don’t always
see you. Keep your distance and watch for sudden stops or turns.
Village of Palos Park snowplow operators
are extremely safety-conscious, but they need your help. Stay back and
let them safely do their job of clearing the road for you.
BEAT AUTO THEFT
Palos Park Police Commissioner John Mahoney, has
announced that Palos Park officers are offering
a new program which could become a major
deterrent to auto theft. The new program, which
is in conjunction with the Illinois Secretary of
State, is referred to as B.A.T. (Beat Auto
The B.A.T. program is an auto theft prevention
program that alerts police that your vehicle is
not normally driven between the hours of 1AM
and 5AM. There is a B.A.T. decal that is given
to the resident and is placed in the vehicle’s
rear windshield (lower corner on the driver’s
side). If Police officers observe any vehicles
with the B.A.T. decal during this time, they
will be stopped and the officer will request a
valid drivers license and registration to verify
Police Commissioner Mahoney reports, “The B.A.T.
program has been very successful in New York,
Texas, and Virginia and it is hoped that the
program will also be a success in Illinois.
B.A.T. is one way to reduce auto theft and
hopefully it will have an impact on auto theft.”
Residents are also encouraged to park smart:
close all windows, take keys out, lock the
doors, and whenever possible, try to park in
Any Palos Park resident interested in
participating in the B.A.T. program is
encouraged to come into the police station and
fill out an application form, or call the Police
Chief, Joe Miller at 671-3770. There is a $5.00
charge for the B.A.T. decal which helps fund the
DEER SEASON & DRIVING
Deer become more active in the fall and
because of it, drivers should be more alert than ever when out on the
road. Deer pose a potentially dangerous threat to themselves and the
occupants of vehicles traveling along roadways in The Palos Area,
especially during October and November.
As the deer breeding season approaches, deer will have a lot of things
to distract them. Deer activity increases and movement peaks each day
near dawn and just after dusk.
Here are some things drivers can do to
try to avoid deer-vehicle accidents:
- When driving near woodlots, creeks,
or where crops are still standing, especially during evening or
early morning, reduce your speed and watch for deer.
- When you spot a deer, assume there
will be others in the same area, either ahead of or behind the one
you have seen.
- Be prepared to stop suddenly.
- Many places where deer are known to
travel are posted with deer crossing signs, but the absence of a
sign does not mean a deer will not unexpectedly appear.
- Deer often seem to be disoriented or
confused by headlights. Some react by freezing in the light, some
dart into the path of the vehicle, others bolt away in the opposite
direction. Sometimes deer that have just crossed the road ahead of
the vehicle suddenly change direction and run back into the path of
a vehicle or collide with it.
- Honk your horn and flash your
headlights to frighten deer away from the side of the road. If there
is other traffic on the road, you can activate your emergency
flashers and tap your brakes to alert other drivers to the potential
- Anticipate the possibility of a deer
unexpectedly crossing in front of you and plan ahead to avoid
swerving, turning or braking the vehicle too sharply if a deer
HIGHWAY SAFETY LAWS
Zero tolerance: A person under the
age of 21 who has a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.00 but
less than 0.08 will have their driving privilege suspended.
Transportation of alcohol in a motor
vehicle: No driver or passenger may transport, carry, or possess any
alcohol within the passenger area except in the original container with
the seal unbroken, (however no person under the age of 21 may possess
any amount of alcohol).
Reckless driving: It is unlawful
for a person to drive any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for
the safety of persons or property.
Drag racing: A person convicted of
drag racing is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall have their license
Operation of motor vehicle: No
person shall operate any motor vehicle in such a manner as to cause or
allow to be emitted squealing, screeching or other such noise from the
vehicle’s tires due to rapid acceleration or excessive speed around
corners or other such reason.
Licenses issued to drivers: For a
person less than 17 years of age, the license shall be invalid during
the times the license is prohibited on the street in violation of
Curfew: It is unlawful for a
person less than 17 years of age to be at or upon any public assembly,
place, street or highway between the times listed except when in the
company of a responsible adult. The times are between 12:01 a.m. and
6:00 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and between 11:00 p.m. on Sunday to
Thursday, inclusive, and 6:00 a.m. on the following day.
Senate Bill 58: Teen Passenger
Restriction—This new law provides that a person under the age of 18,
who receives a graduated driver’s license, may not drive with more than
one person in the vehicle who is under the age of 20 during the first
six months of their license or until the person reaches the age of 18,
whichever occurs sooner, unless an adult is present. Exceptions to this
passenger restriction are provided for siblings, stepsiblings, children
and stepchildren of the driver.
Senate Bill 50: Seat Belt Usage
—This new law now enables officers to stop vehicles solely on the basis
of a seat belt violation. All drivers and passengers (front and
backseat) must wear their seat belt. In addition, any child under the
age of 8 must be in a booster seat.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM AN
The Palos Park
Police Department would like to offer the following tips to protect you
and your family from impaired drivers:
- Drive defensively—Be alert to
potential danger on the highways.
- Wear your seat belt. Insist that
others in your car buckle up. Use proper restraints for children
younger than eight years old. Using your seat belt is the best
defense against a drunk driver.
- Educate teenage drivers and younger
children about the effects of drinking and driving. Talk to them
about what they should do if they find themselves with a driver who
is under the influence. Encourage them to refuse rides with any
driver under the influence and to call home for a ride if they or
their friends are under the influence and unable to drive.
- Set an example for your children on
the safe and responsible use of alcohol.
- If you drink, plan ahead and
designate a non-drinking driver.
- Be a responsible host. Serve food
and have nonalcoholic drinks available. Don’t let your guests drive
after drinking alcohol and never serve alcohol to someone under the
age of 21.
- Report suspected impaired drivers to
the police by dialing 9-1-1. Make sure to get the license plate
number, description of the vehicle, and the direction in which it
was traveling. Keep a safe distance from anyone driving erratically
and do not try to intervene yourself.
Driving is a privilege,
not a right…Please drive safely.
UNDERSTANDING DUI’S IN ILLINOIS
By Michael F. Carroll, Attorney-at-Law
Legal Affairs Officer, Palos Park Police
More litigated than perhaps any other criminal
or traffic matter in Illinois, DUI’s have become
a very complex and misunderstood segment of our
Criminal Code. Crossing boundaries between
civil law and criminal law, misdemeanor and
felony, this offense (or group of offenses) has
grown as our political and social climates have
DUI (or Driving Under the Influence) replaced
the previous charge (in many states) of Driving
While Intoxicated (DWI). No longer does the
States Attorney need to prove that a motorist is
intoxicated. Now, the State need only show that
the motorist is operating a motor vehicle while
under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a
A police officer, who suspects a motorist of
being Under the Influence, after stopping the
motorist for a traffic violation, typically
requests the motorist to perform standardized
Field Sobriety Testing. These tests often
consist of walking a straight line, standing on
one leg and taking a portable roadside
breathalyzer, among other tests. The motorist
has the right to refuse to participate in the
roadside tests. Currently, there is no
statutory penalty for refusing to take these
If the officer decides to arrest the motorist,
the arrestee is transported to a police
station. The officer reads the arrestee what is
known as a Warning to Motorist, explaining to
the person the consequences of taking or
refusing a breathalyzer, or other chemical tests
at the police station or a hospital. For a
first time offense, if the motorist refuses to
take the breathalyzer or other chemical test
(blood or urine), his or her driver’s license is
automatically suspended for a minimum of six
months. That suspension begins on the 46th day
following the arrest, which gives the motorist’s
attorney a time period to challenge the
suspension in court. A first time offender who
takes the breathalyzer and fails, loses his
license for a minimum of three months. A breath
alcohol reading of 0.08 or more is considered a
The statutory suspension of one’s driver’s
license is enhanced for someone with a previous
DUI. A failure of chemical testing results in a
minimum one year suspension, and a refusal to
take the test brings about a minimum three year
suspension. The automatic suspension (known as
the Statutory Summary Suspension) is civil in
nature, and is between the motorist and the
Secretary of State. Assuming there are no other
violations affecting the motorist’s license,
when the statutory time period has expired
(three months to three years), as long as the
motorist pays a reinstatement fee, his license
will once again become valid.
DUI law has become increasingly complex over the
last ten to twenty years. DUI law is easily the
most complex area of law, at least in the
misdemeanor category, in Illinois.