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Buckle up or get a ticket

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 2:03 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 2:04 p.m. CDT

Dear Editor,

As long as I’ve been a police officer, I’ve never gotten used to the sorrow I feel when I’m called to the scene of a crash where someone has died.

Making matters worse is all too often those in the crash were not buckled up or alcohol was involved.

It is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter.

Despite these laws, in 2010, more than 10,000 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was impaired. In Illinois in 2010, 298 people lost their lives to an impaired driver.

The fact is that impaired-driving deaths have declined dramatically since the 1980s.

Social activism, including the rise of organizations such as MothersAgainst Drunk Driving (MADD) and Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), led to tighter laws that helped bring the death toll down.

Because we are committed to ending the tragedy of motor vehicle crash fatalities, the Byron Police Department has joined others, throughout Illinois and the nation, for the intensive crackdown on impaired driving through the Labor Day weekend.

The crackdown occurs Aug. 17 through Labor Day, Sept. 3.

The Byron Police Department will also be strongly enforcing our state’s seat belt laws, in the front and back seats, because we understand seat belts save lives.

As police officers, our message during this crackdown, and all year long, is clear and unwavering: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket.

With stepped-up law enforcement throughout Illinois — including roadside safety checks — if we catch you driving impaired, you will face serious consequences.

If you’re unbuckled, you will receive a ticket.

Todd Murray

Byron Chief of Police

Motorists need to be aware of school bus laws

Dear Editor,

Did you know that the most dangerous part of the school bus ride is the bus stop?

Children are at greatest risk when they are getting on or off the school bus.

The majority of children killed or injured in bus-related accidents are hit outside the bus by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus.

It is important to remember that in neighborhoods, near schools, and at bus stops, drivers need to take special care because children do not behave like adults!

Most importantly, children expect vehicles to stop for them at the school bus stop.

When you meet or follow a school bus, Illinois law requires the following:

Obey all school bus warning systems. Motorists must stop for school buses displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop arm.

On a one-way roadway, all lanes of traffic must stop, regardless of the number of lanes.

On a two-lane roadway, all lanes of traffic must stop (at least 20 feet before reaching the bus).

On a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in the opposite direction, only those lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.

Be aware that all school buses must stop at railroad crossings.

Never pass a school bus on the right.

In addition, drivers must be aware of children crossing streets.

In some cases, crossing guards regulate traffic patterns and speed. Please slow down and be aware that a child may suddenly appear in the road.

By using safe driving habits, we can all help to insure a safe school year for the children of our region.

Amy Jo Clemens

Lee-Ogle Regional Superintendent of Schools

Couple thrilled with new B&B

Dear Editor,

Recently, my wife had a birthday. I wanted to surprise her with something special so I suggested we go out to dinner, and then I planned to take her to the newly opened Harmony Hills Bed & Breakfast on South Harmony Road, Oregon.

It was delightful. Neither of us had been to this new B&B so we were quite amazed at what we found. It is charming from the moment you walk in.

The owners, Casper and Leanne Manheim, gave us a tour of the various rooms.

The decor is tasteful and comfortable throughout.

We would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an overnight stay in a pastoral setting with a delicious breakfast to boot. Sincerely,

Nelson & Joanne Miller

Mt. Morris

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