The Park Ridge Police Department is committed to traffic safety. We work hard to make sure our roadways are safe. In an effort to reduce crashes and injuries, we make enforcement of speed, seatbelt and impaired driving violations a priority.
Currently, the Traffic Section consists of one officer who is dedicated to traffic safety and enforcement. The Traffic Officer, along with officers in the Patrol Division, utilize various resources, including an unmarked squad car and police motorcycle to perform their enforcement activities.
In addition to normal traffic and DUI enforcement, selective enforcement of specific traffic problem areas is one of the primary duties of the Traffic Section. Citizen reports of potential problem areas, such as speeding and stop sign violations, are followed up with officer contact and a survey of the location. If the survey reveals that selective enforcement is necessary, the Traffic Coordinator works with the Patrol Division officers to enforce violations in these areas. Not all surveys result in selective enforcement, however, it is important to have residents alert the Traffic Section to locations that may deserve special attention.
School officials have also been helpful in notifying the Traffic Section when drivers are passing stopped school buses and other traffic related matters near schools. Additionally, the Public Works department advises the Traffic Section if major streets are going to be closed for extended periods so that appropriate detours may be established.
Overweight truck enforcement is another primary duty of the Traffic Section. The Illinois Vehicle Code governs the amount of weight large trucks can carry over various roadways. Violations of these laws can cause severe damage to our roads. One overweight truck can cause as much damage as nine hundred cars traveling the same route. The Public Works Service Center has a vehicle scale that is used to weigh trucks that are suspected of being overweight.
Additionally, the Traffic Section Coordinator, along with Patrol Division Officers, speak at local driving schools, safety fairs, and other community meetings to allow kids to see police cars and the motorcycle up close while they learn about traffic safety.
Periodically, roadside safety checks are conducted with the assistance of the Illinois State Police. Drivers and vehicles are checked for equipment, licenses and insurance violations as well as seat belt compliance and DUI.
The STAC (Staff Traffic Advisory Committee) meets once a week, or as needed, to review citywide traffic safety issues. Members of STAC include the Chief of Police, Patrol Commander, Support Services Commander, the City Engineer, and the Traffic and Community Service Coordinators. Together they discuss traffic problems in the City and how to resolve them. Likewise, since the police department enforces the laws but does not actually control where stop signs are placed or what the speed limits are, it is important to communicate with the City Engineer about issues such as stop sign placement and setting speed limits.
Additional programs sponsored by the Traffic Section are: REDUCE, a citizen radar program; Yard Signs, a program that allows citizens to display yard signs to slow down drivers; and the PARENT-TEEN DRIVING CONTRACT; a contract to assist parents in setting driving limits for their new teen driver. To access this contract go to www.aap.org/publiced/BR_TeenDriver.htm
For any additional information please call the Traffic Section at 847-318-5220.
Traffic Safety Challange Award
In 2011, the Park Ridge Police Department took third place in the Traffic Safety Challenge. All of the officers of the department take traffic safety very seriously and strive to make the roadways of Park Ridge as safe as possible. The department will continue to be very proactive in traffic safety and enforcement programs.
The Traffic Safety Challenge, coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Committee and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, recognizes police departments, sheriff's agencies, and other law enforcement entities in the state for exemplary traffic safety and enforcement programs. The traffic safety challenge program targets three major traffic safety priorities: speeding, impaired driving (DUI) and occupant protection. This challenge program is open to all Police Departments in the United States. The "Challenge" is to address traffic safety issues through written policies, officer training, public information and education and enforcement. Agencies must also rate the effectiveness of their efforts. Agencies that wish to compete in the program submit an application with the required information, and the applications are reviewed by a team of judges, who then assign a final rating. The top three agencies in each category (based on agency size and type) are recognized at an awards ceremony. The program is supported largely through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and is also supported by corporate sponsors who donate products as well as monetary donations to help offset the cost of the prize awards.
Special recognition is given to the department's Traffic Section, especially Officer Laura Kappler. She was the lead officer on the project. The department will continue to be very proactive in traffic safety and enforcement programs.