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State, Local Police To Step Up Enforcement Of Traffic Violations

Melissa Ledezma (at podium), the mother of 16-year old Tyler Ledezma who died in a car crash nearly three years ago because he was not wearing his seat belt.  (Credit: Bernie Tafoya)

Melissa Ledezma (at podium), the mother of 16-year old Tyler Ledezma who died in a car crash nearly three years ago because he was not wearing his seat belt. (Credit: Bernie Tafoya)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — State and local police say they’re beefing up traffic patrol as we move toward the Memorial Day weekend and the summer travel season, reports WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya.

The Illinois Department of Transportation today announced the kickoff of the 2013 Click It or Ticket mobilization, which will run from now through Memorial Day weekend.

Police and Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider say they would like everyone to make it safely to their destinations when they are on the road, whether it is a short neighborhood drive or cross-country.

“Almost 50 percent of the people killed on our roadways last year did not have their safety belts on,” said Schneider. There were 955 people killed on Illinois roads last year.

Melissa Ledezma lost her teenage driver son to a traffic accident because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt when he lost control of his car while traveling at 30 miles an hour. Ledezma emotionally told of how her 16-year old son Tyler’s death still affects her.

“I still struggle every day to get out of bed. I still worry with my other two kids that they don’t make that same mistake”, she says.

Ledezma says if you won’t buckle up for yourself…..do it for your mom.

IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider says a survey indicates more than 93 and a half percent of Illinoisans *do* buckle-up but that, “It’s that last 6.4% that we really need to get to”.

Meanwhile, police say that, over the next couple of weeks, you’ll see more police pulling people over for traffic violations–including for not wearing seat belts as the summer travel season gets underway.