Southern Illinois crashes cause concerns; lawmakers chime in

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Reports of bad interstate crashes in Southern Illinois has lawmakers speaking out to try and combat the problem.

Robin Fox is a motorcyclist a part of a riding club and spends her riding when she can.

"I just think it's getting dangerous out there," she explained. Fox is talking about the roads she travels in Southern Illinois and the increase in crashes.

"We all have a responsibility as a privileged driver, of things we are supposed to do." Fox said. "And unfortunately, it seems like the laws are stiffer, but the attention to those responsibilities are laxed."

Fox speaks from experience. She knows the motorcyclist life-flighted after a crash this weekend.

"It's basically just road rash, banged up, nothing broken and thank you God he is a live."

According to Illinois State Police Trooper Joey Watson, we've had a 28 percent increase in the number of wrecks from 2016 to 2017. This is due to what Watson calls the Fatal 4.

"Distracted driving, impaired driving, alcohol consumption, drug abuse. It's also speed and occupant restraint," Watson explained.

The ISP map below shows the majority of crashes over the past five years happened on I-57 and Route 13.

"It really boils down to choices. it's not necessarily 'I'm at fault, you're at fault,' It's how can we get in our vehicles and be the most defensive driver you can be," Watson said.

Even lawmakers from the area are joining the conversation and making plans to make roads safer. Representative Terri Bryant and Representative Dave Severin took to social media to get the awareness out about how to combat the crashes.

"We can't be everywhere at once but we are out doing the best we absolutely possible we can because people matter," Watson said. "We have a vested interest in this because again it's us serving our community so how can we make life for Southern Illinois better? We've been doing it. We are going to continue to do it …you gotta help us out though…you gotta make the right choices."

Trooper Watson said Illinois speed awareness day is this Wednesday, July 26 and troopers will be out in full force.

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