Heightened Enforcement of Hands-free Law Planned in April, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Naperville Police to take part in anti-distracted driving campaigns
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Naperville Police Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police and more than 100 other law enforcement agencies across the state to remind drivers to drop their phones or pay up.
Motorists will see increased patrols and enforcement zones across Illinois throughout the month. Naperville Police will be ticketing drivers who text or use their cellphones while driving. Naperville Police will also participate in education activities by visiting high school driver’s education classes to teach about the dangers of distracted driving and promoting safe driving through the department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 3,166 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. While this represents a nine-percent decrease in distracted driving fatalities from 2016, there is clearly more work to be done.
“Every day, you can look out your car window and see a driver using their cellphone,” said Naperville Police Sgt. Derek Zook. “People know texting and driving is dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, and it puts others at risk.”
Texting while driving distracts a driver visually, manually and cognitively. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the length of an entire football field.
Follow these steps for a safe driving experience:
- If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cellphone use can be habit-forming.
- Put your cellphone in the trunk, glove box or back seat until you arrive at your destination.
The Distracted Driving enforcement campaign is supported through federal funds administered by IDOT.
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.