Effingham, IL – Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced today that officers will conduct special Traffic Enforcement Patrols (sTEP) during the month of May in Clay, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper and Marion Counties. District 12 Troopers will concentrate on speeding, failure to use occupant restraints, and other driving offenses as part of their enforcement efforts. The sTEP program involves a combination of increased enforcement and public information designed to raise public awareness and compliance to all traffic laws. Speeding is a contributing factor in 35 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide. In Illinois, speed-related crashes account for 30 percent of all traffic fatalities. Safety Belt Enforcement Zones may also be used during the sTEP program. Troopers will enforce the primary safety belt law to ensure drivers and all of their passengers are buckled up. Every hour someone dies in America simply because they are not wearing their safety belt. Statistics show that half of all people killed in traffic crashes are not properly buckled up. You can save your life by driving safely and simply buckling up. This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.