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Illinois' Number Of Traffic Deaths In 2017 Surpasses 1,000

CHICAGO (CBS) -- For the second year in a row, the number of people killed in crashes on Illinois roads has gone over 1,000.

IDOT said preliminary figures indicate 1,080 people were killed in crashes in 2017, two more people than 2016. That compares with 924 and 998 traffic deaths respectively in 2014 and 2015.

"Distracted driving continues to be a concern, but it is incredibly hard to detect and enforce," said Kelsea Gurski, with IDOT.

She adds, "some things we've noticed are an increase in number of motorcycle fatalities. Last year in February, it was warm enough for motorcyclists to be out on the road already."

IDOT said 158 motorcyclists were killed in crashes last year. That was four more than had been killed the year before and 40 more than in 2014.

Gurski said the state is planning a new public safety campaign, plus more targeted traffic enforcement patrols.

"It is definitely going to be targeting individuals that we know are more at risk for crashes," she said.

So far this year, according to IDOT, one person has been killed in a crash. Last year on this date, five people had already been killed in crashes.

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