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Thanksgiving traffic deaths down from last year

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced traffic deaths over Thanksgiving weekend decreased 63 percent from last year.

Provisional data from IDOT’s crash information unit reported three traffic deaths compared to eight deaths during the holiday in 2011.

Mike Claffey, a spokesman for IDOT, said even though traffic deaths are down there’s still work to be done.

“This weekend there was three too many crashes and the campaign is to drive the number to zero,” Claffey said. “We want to keep the pressure on anybody who thinks of driving under the influence and we want to keep reminding folks... buckle up.”

To help cut down on the number of traffic deaths this holiday season, IDOT launched a partnership with law enforcement called the "Drive to Survive" campaign.

Police will be out in force, pulling drivers over who are not wearing seatbelts and cracking down on drunk driving through the end of the year.

Claffey said the department has boosted its effort to educate people about driving safety, including highway signs that tally the number of traffic deaths to date this year.

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