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Illinois officials team up to ask drivers to slow down

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — State and local officials gathered Wednesday to proclaim July 25th as Illinois Speed Awareness Day.

They asked drivers to commit to watching their limits to try and end the growing number of deaths on Illinois roads.

Highland Park police commander Chris O’Neill has spent close to three decades keeping the public safe. He wants the motoring public to slow down and watch its speed.

The Highland Park Department was one of the more than 200 agencies in the Chicago area participating in Speed Awareness Day.

“It’s a responsibility to be driving, not a right,” Commander O’Neil said.  “We want you to be responsible because you’re really responsible for everyone’s safety not just your own. .. Everyone has somewhere to go, but it is never the right decision to put ourselves and our families in harm’s way to get there.”

It is a topic which changed Dee Brant’s life forever. She lost her 15-year-old son Matthew in a crash in 2004 when the car he was riding in was struck by a driver going about 35 miles over the speed limit.

“Even though Matthew was only 15-years-old, he had hopes and dreams and goals for himself,” she said.  “A life that was cut short due to a choice that someone made to be speeding on the road that night.”