Naperville Police Department to Participate in First Ever Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week
Awareness week and enforcement campaign will take place April 24-28
The Naperville Police Department is partnering with agencies from throughout Illinois to bring attention to the dangers and consequences associated with driving distracted during the first ever Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week, April 24-28.
This campaign will include a high level of enforcement of applicable State distracted driving laws. The City-wide enforcement efforts of Naperville Police Officers will be supplemented by the educational efforts of Naperville Police Department’s Community Radio Watch (CRW) volunteers. If these volunteers observe a driver using a handheld device while driving, a warning letter will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle via U.S. Mail.
“Every officer will be making distracted driving enforcement a focus,” said Sergeant Derek Zook. “The dangers of distracted driving are real, and our aim is to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from this dangerous behavior behind the wheel.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. That is a 9-percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year.
- 10 percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police reported motor vehicle crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction affected crashes.
- Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. Young drivers, 16 to 24 years old, have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:
- In analyzing 2009-2012 data, that even while more than 8 in 10 drivers believed it completely unacceptable for a motorist to text or e-mail behind the wheel, more than a third of those same respondents admitted to reading text messages while driving.
- Just as disturbing, even as fatalities go up, fewer drivers seem concerned about texting while driving. According to Foundation’s 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index, significantly fewer motorists (77%) believed texting while driving is a problem, down from 96 percent in 2013, a 19-point drop in just two years.
- Texting while driving is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you become a danger to everyone around you.
Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week was coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police in partnership with AAA and supported by the Illinois State Police, www.SafetyServe.com, the National Safety Council, the Illinois Insurance Association and almost 300 law enforcement/fire agencies, including the Naperville Police Department.
These partnerships have been formed to help further a traffic safety culture in Illinois and to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from distracted driving.
About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.