Jim Anderson -- Illinois Radio Network

Fatalities on Illinois roads are down this year vs. last – but they’re making a comeback.

Fatalities stand at 822, which is 85 fewer than at this time last year, and it’s possible to finish the year under 900, if people put their phones down and take other safety measures, says State Police Lt. David Byrd.

“The motoring public has to really do their part for their own safety, so please buckle up, please do not drink and drive, and then you have to reduce your speeds. I think if everyone does their part, that number is attainable,” he said.

Early in the year, the number of fatalities was way down, with full-year extrapolations coming in in the 600s. The pace has quickened, with Byrd placing most of the blame on drunk drivers.

Totals in recent years have been in the 900s.