Police Step up Seat Belt Enforcement over Holiday Weekend

May  20, 2014

      Whether you're in the car for five minutes or three hours this weekend, your life is at risk if you're not wearing a seatbelt. That's according to local and state law enforcement, who joined forces today to promote the Illinois Click It or Ticket campaign.

      Illinois Department of Transportation spokeman Dan Wood says, as part of the campaign, more local and state police will patrol the streets and highways this holiday weekend.  

      "Our children and grandchildren are watching us all the time. Are we setting the right example in all that we do? When we drive after we buckle them in carseats or seatbelts, do we buckle our own? Do we drive distracted? Do we use a cell phone or do we try and text? 

      Melissa Ledezma's 16-year-old son Tyler died in a car accident in 2010. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was thrown out of the car. The mother from East Moline hopes teenagers will learn from her son's story. 

      "My son wanted to be a teacher, and I believe now that he's teaching through me. He may not be standing here with me, but he's here with me and he gives me the strength to get out of bed everyday and to continue to tell his story so that our parents and children don't have to be in this situation."

      Ledezma's family has created a scholarship fund in Tyler's memory for local high school students. 

      Illinois law requires drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts. The Click It or Ticket campaign runs through Memorial Day weekend. 


(Photo: Melissa Ledezma, center, shares her son's story in front of state and local police enforcement.)