ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Police from Missouri and Illinois gathered in south St. Louis County on Monday to announce a 4-hour, zero tolerance crackdown on seatbelt law violators from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
At the same time, new questions surfaced about a crash that left two people dead near downtown St. Louis over the weekend.
“Today, we are here to announce the ‘Border to Border’ initiative,” said IDOT Deputy Secretary Doug House.
Police in the bi-state are joining 10,000 agencies nationwide in the immediate 4-hour seatbelt enforcement with stepped up enforcement through Monday, June 3.
This comes in the wake of that double fatal accident Sunday afternoon. The driver of a silver sedan rear-ended a tractor-trailer near the approach to the Poplar Street Bridge on I-55/44 at 7th Street.
The two people in the car, both male, died at the scene.
The Facebook page for Petroff Towing, which worked the crash scene, shows a photo of the crash with this message: “Texting and driving do not go together, please put your phones down. This one took the lives of two young men yesterday.”
St. Louis police have not released the names of the accident nor confirmed if texting or failing to wear seatbelts were factors.
Police did say the driver of the tractor-trailer had turned on his hazard lights to warn drivers behind him that traffic was slowing to a stop but there was no sign the driver of the car ever applied his brakes.
Approximately 95 percent of Illinois drivers buckle up while 87 percent do in Missouri; yet nearly half of those who die in highway crashes are not wearing seatbelts, authorities said.