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State police enforcing safe holiday

State police are teaming with sheriff's police and municipal police departments to increase roadside checks as part of their holiday safe-driving campaign.

The checks include the familiar "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and "Click it or Ticket" themes and will include hundreds of roadside checks for drunken driving and safety-belt use through the first weekend of 2014.

Illinois has seen 950 traffic fatalities through Dec. 17-20, more than the same period last year.

Safe driving isn't limited to highways, however.

The Department of Natural Resources said there were 34 reported snowmobile accidents last year resulting in three deaths.

Illinois Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez said most accidents can be prevented with common sense. The department encourages everyone to take a snowmobile safety class before the first ride of the season and offers these other tips:

•Never consume alcohol before or during a snowmobile ride.
•Make sure equipment is in proper working order.
•Wear protective clothing including a full-size helmet with goggles or face shield.
•Avoid wearing long scarves, which may get caught in moving parts.
•Be aware of, and obey, trail closures and know the terrain.
•Avoid frozen waterways if you're not sure about the thickness of ice.
•Never ride alone.